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|News||American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism||Recommended Links||British roots of US Russophobia||Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine||Cold War II||Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukrainegate|
|NeoMcCartyism||NSC -- a sinister organization that controls the President and ensures militarization of the USA foreign policy||Demonization of Putin||Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0||Perfidious Albion||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak and emailgate||Anti-Russian hysteria as a method of suppressing of dissent against neoliberalism and militarism|
|Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||False flag poisonings||Skripal poisoning||Litvinenko poisoning||Russia fight for multipolarity||History of American False Flag Operations||DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin|
|Magnitsky case||Nulandgate||The Rape of Russia||Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border||Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump||Putin-did-it fiasco||Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA|
|USA-Russia Gas War||British poisoning false flags||MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage||Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR||Obama: a yet another Neocon||Professor Steven Cohen||Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria|
|Hillary role in Syria bloodbath||Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization||Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||Post-Russiagate remorse -- Russiagate as the second Iraq WDM fiasco||Diplomacy by deception||Net hamsters|
|Pussi Riot Provocation||Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Khodorkovsky case||Boris Berezovsky||Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate||Russiagate: Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition||Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few||The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||America and the Imperial Project||Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair||Neoliberal Compradors||Navalny's Saga||Nemtsov assassination|
|Color revolutions||The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee||Russian Color Revolution of 2012||From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss||The Real War on Reality||Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?||Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine|
|Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns||Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie||America and the Imperial Project||"Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries||Economics of Peak Energy||The Deep State||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"|
|Russian foreign policy||Anatol Leiven on American Messianism||Brain Drain||American Exceptionalism||Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts||Humor||Soft propaganda|
They told Gorbachev, 'We promise if you agree to a reunited Germany in NATO, NATO will not move-this was Secretary of State
James Baker-one inch to the east. In other words, NATO would not move from Germany toward Russia. And it did.
The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines - particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin - is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm. The Nation (February 12, 2014)
What Putin came to power to do was to modernize Russia, and that does not involve a cold war with the West. Period. End of story. That's his mission. He wants to go down in history as the man who did this. Cold war, not to mention hot war, is spoiling what he sees as his mission.
When Putin began talking about Russia's sovereignty, Russia's independent course in world affairs, they're (the Washington elites) aghast... This is not what they expected... Putin was kind of the right person for the right time, both for Russia and for Russian world affairs.
The people who created Russiagate are literally saying, and have been for almost three years, that the president of the United States is a Russian agent, or he has been compromised by the Kremlin. I don't know if there has ever been anything like this in American history... That accusation does such damage to our own institutions, to the presidency, to our electoral system, to Congress, to the American mainstream media, not to mention the damage it's done to American-Russian relations, the damage it has done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young Russians, look at America today. This whole Russiagate has not only been fraudulent, it's been a catastrophe.
The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China
This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were influenced by late Professor Stephen F. Cohen whom I really admire and follow. The US neoliberal elite became unhinged and adopted "Full Spectrum Domination" doctrine after the collapse of the USSR. That did not play well nether for the US national security nor the world, to say nothing about Russia. The real 101 on this topic are two his presentations:
Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. Actually it is more about American exceptionalism and imperialism (and for of all Full spectrum Dominance doctrine). That's why neocons, who are well paid prostitutes of MIC, are such rabid Russophobes. In more way then one it is a modern politically correct version of anti-Semitism practiced by the USA neoliberal elite.
Like anti-Semitism it is a wedge issues, which enhances the level social control of US population and suppression of dissent, which now can be framed as "Russian agents" in best McCarthyism traditions (NeoMcCartyism ).
Amy scapegoating of the particular nations/ethnicity is very similar, almost identical in sprit to anti-Semitism. In the definition below I just replaced terms in Wikipedia definition of Anti-Semitism:
Russophobia is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Russians. A person who holds such positions is called an Russophobe. Russophobia is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.
Russophobia may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Russians...
Here is another "adapted" definition (from The UK s Labor Party and Its Anti-Semitism Crisis) The definition states:
"Russophobia is a certain perception of Russians, which may be expressed as hatred toward Russians. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Russophobia are directed toward Russian or non-Russian individuals and/or their property, toward Russian community institutions and religious facilities."
The uncontroversial "illustrations" of Russophobia:
- Advocating the killing or harming of Russians for ideological or religious reasons;
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Russians as such;
- Holding Russians as a people responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Russian person or group;
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic McCarthyism (e.g., equating Russians with Soviets and Russians with communists);
- Holding Russians collectively responsible for actions of the Russian state or the USSR;
Scapegoating is an important part of the neoliberal Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda. Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and was evoked as a defensive tool when the neoliberal elite experienced the loss of legitimacy as happened in 2016. As ROB URIE noted in his Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA (Jul 31, 2020) CIA was Russophobic organization from the very beginning and it infects the USA political establishment with Russophobia more effectively then COVID-19 infects US population:
The first Cold War was an imperial business enterprise to keep the Generals, bureaucrats, and war materiel suppliers in power and their bank accounts flush after WWII. Likewise, the American side of the nuclear arms race left former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA to put their paranoid fantasies forward as assessments of Russian military capabilities. Why, of all people, would former Nazi officers be put in charge military intelligence if accurate assessments were the goal? The Nazis hated the Soviets more than the Americans did.
The ideological binaries of Russiagate -- for or against Donald Trump, for or against neoliberal, petrostate Russia, define the boundaries of acceptable discourse to the benefit of deeply nefarious interests. The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences.
...Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business.
Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world.
...To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind.
...The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was met with a promised reduction in U.S. military spending and an end to the Cold War, neither of which ultimately materialized. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control .
The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 ....
The recent example of Russophobia in the USA was neo-McCarthyism campaign which was nicknamed "Russiagate", which represents classic gaslighting of the population strategy. A common tactic used to promote the Russiagate narrative was unnamed officials making statements to the press without providing evidence or any factual basis to their claims. Another common tactic was frequent media appearances by former intelligence officials, like James Clapper and John Brennan, usually making wild accusations about Trump and Russia. These tactics are being repeated to promote an anti-China narrative.
The loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite which resulted in political fiasco of the establishments candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- is why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream with all major neoliberal MSM promoting it with the level of coordination that might cause some envy of stalwarts of Bolsheviks press.
Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in 70th. It's like boy who cried wolf: people just stop trust neoliberal media and this process already started in 2019 with Rachel MadCow being one of the first victim: she lost half a million viewers (may be temporary, as she is a talented demagogue, but still).
The current crisis of neoliberalism and discreditation of neoliberal ideology (2008 and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) created conditions in which reinventing "Red Scare" again became important, as a tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population and crushing the dissent.
It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome. USA elite inherited it from British elite. In this sense the current US neoliberal empire can be called the Western British Empire (the term which creates several interesting historical analogies, including its possible length of existence ;-)
American neoliberal elite like the British elite before now badly need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophobia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent. Another goal is to prevent the alliance of Germany and Russia -- which was the goal of British foreign policy for two centuries.
The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world. And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of US population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. Like with Voice of America in the past, it is not necessary to buy Russian propaganda to see where neoliberal MSM completely distort the world event and hide important information. For those purposes RT can serve perfectly well.
In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would also consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing anti-Semitism. Kind of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct) nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.
There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations). Now they probably might understand better what it means to be the target of anti-Semitism. As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):
"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."
While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of a complete vassal of the USA, the role that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR. And the role which was temporary Russia performed under drunk Yeltsin.
In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order -- the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to global "neoliberal project" -- neoliberal World Revolution (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.
Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as
and other similar cliché that clearly remind cliché used by German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory as well as WikiLeaks depiction of the USA war crimes.
The hatred of Russia now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM. It actually seves as a pretty good smokescreen for the loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries as Btitish empire considers Russia as a threat to British interwsts in India and the region :
The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public's "antipathy toward Russia" as the "most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad."
The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite-and was off base, anyway, since Britain's foreign policy was actually "more provocative than Russia's" in this period. Others concur. "The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,"
While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):
The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites
Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.
In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).
In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.
It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.
... ... ...
Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.
US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.
First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.
In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.
Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.
In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.
And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.
Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War
If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.
There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!
... ... ...
On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?
It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.
So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".
In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.
In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.
It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.
During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonably and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation.
Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation. Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen by the CIA in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia. But those were exception, rather then the rule. Probably the memory of the WWII and the level of cooperation of two countries in this war as allies still played some role in such restrain.
But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power. This new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour.
This adventurism backfired. This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). they failed to utilize pro-USA fe4elings of the Russian population after the dissolution of the USA. Should the USA adopt the Marshall plan for Russia those feelings would be preserved. But the Clinton administration decided to loot Russia and concert it into a vassal state. That was a strategic mistake, although looting succeeded on a really grand stale (several trillions were stolen) with the help of Harvard mafia and Russian compradors. The instituted shock therapy for the Russian economics which plunged it into depression which was worse thatn the one which was coursed by the Germany aggression in WWII. Many important enterprises went bankrupts, other were bought by foreign investors for pennies on the dollar (Browder was one notable example of this "looting gang" that descended on Russia at the time; Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and other Jewish oligarchs were another important players in this looting)
Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy) and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban.
Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstained in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died"). Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 just to balance the state budget).
It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.
But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise. And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy, which was dutifully continued by Trump administration (actually the USA foreign policy does not depend of who is in power as the President and who is the Secretary of State; it is controlled by the Deep State -- forces outside elected executive branch and which consist of MIC, intelligence agencies and the Wall Street (financial oligarchy) as well as created by then think tanks such and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)).
Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. Gorbachov is generally considered in Russia as a traitor of the nation. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).
But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative. After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated and "Athlantists" group enough Russian neoliberal elite lost a lot of influence and became politically ostracized. . In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years. That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends.
But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the US domination. That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA. This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite. This view only became stronger under Trump administration.
I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer" strategy of British Empire, might be a geopolitical mistake despite short term dividends this action brought to the USA geopolitical position in the region. It also increase the changes of WWIII, which definitely would mean end of the USA as the global empire and probably as a country (the same is true for Russia -- both countries will be completely devastated)
Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.
That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.
This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.
The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat". Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.
My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment). I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).
Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.
But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:
Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.
Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.
The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.
In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.
What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.
First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.
Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.
If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.
My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile
As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I'm a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.
However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).
I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:
- Their journalists tend to obfuscate facts and concrete numbers with rumors and assumptions;
- they share their biases with those of the liberal opposition who are their most frequent interlocutors, and reflect an ignorance of the broad ideological diversity across Russian politics and media;
- and they frequently condemn Russia for things that just as prevalent or even more so in countries considered Western and democratic.
This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it's the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.
...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.
Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.
|The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.|
Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.
Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.
It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.
Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.
Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):
In any case, our taste for a country-favorable or unfavorable-shouldn't dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today's heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America's most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.
So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end-if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program-is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia-on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators-will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.
And the "Russia Is Doomed" syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.
The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.
The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.
From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.
From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.
It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:
"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution
Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.
The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.
As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com
Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).
We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.
See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information
Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.
It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture
I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.
I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).
For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.
In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).
There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.
This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.
|"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.|
Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.
kievite:April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pmmarknesop
This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :
"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "
First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That's the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.
So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev's actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.
In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit' druzhno" (Let's be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.
Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.
And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What's the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.kievite
Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia's official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.April 14, 2011 at 1:21 ammarknesop
Very true. Thanks for the response.
You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can't abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That's a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.
At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.
Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That's where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it's not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.
The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am
Yes, you're right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It's funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it's Russia that's held up as the consummate corporate raider.
I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There's no reason foreign companies shouldn't have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We'll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.
It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".
Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):
2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica
Danos tu opinión
Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.
Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo
For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar
The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)
- Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
- Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
- By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
- The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the "anglo" reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the "zionist" reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term "zionist" referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
- The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
- The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
- In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
- If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
- Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
- Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
- All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
- In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don't want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
- The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people's of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
- If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world's "left" – or whatever remains of it - would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
- A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
- Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
- The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.
The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.
- The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
- The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
- The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
- Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
- The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
- Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
- Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
- The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
- The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
- Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
- The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
- Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
- The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
- The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
- The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
- Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
- The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
- While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
- The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality."
The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One
Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).
Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.
Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.
And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.
It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.
No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.
See Demonization of Putin for more details.
Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).
Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov
A Dispassionate View on Russophobia
Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.
Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.
What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.
We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.
Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.
However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.
When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.
By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.
Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.
Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.
In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .
Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!
Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.
At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.
However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.
In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.
Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.
The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.
And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.
The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of "prisoners of conscience" was created from academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.
The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.
To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):
1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.
This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as
During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:
Background of propaganda attacks against Russia
...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".
This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."
Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.
"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine-all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."
...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....
Summary of chapters
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul's analysis. Introduction
Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.
"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace." Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda
Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology." 1.Part One: External Characteristics
Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life. The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen's entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual's capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization. Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.
"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's
aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual's indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda's grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.
The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"
These currents reinforce socieand hold man's mjor convictions and propa
Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:
Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people. There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.
Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.
Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members' behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life." This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual's way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don't are bad.
Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.
Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:
Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.
Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda
The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions
Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.
"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda's intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."
"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda
All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity
The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual's Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual's part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda
The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas." The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda's ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual's personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects
"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him." 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology
An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity. 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.
"The Lonely Crowd"
The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.
In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.
Fundamental currents in society
"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody." While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."
While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."
Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members' behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life." This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best.
See also  Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality
British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment
The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real placeTremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.
After 2008 neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection.
And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.
Sanctions, as damaging as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get. See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):
"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."
So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.
Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."
Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.
Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.
So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.
The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.
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elephant , Apr 11 2021 11:00 utc | 113
"Why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"
The apparent change in stance is unlikely a ruse because a ruse presumes that Russia would take the bait.
The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Ukraine's part because Ukraine was well aware of the strength of the juggernaut just to the east before Ukraine sent men and materiel that way.
The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Washington's part because a likely drubbing of Ukraine with Washington sitting on the sidelines would result in a loss of prestige vis a vis Russia and China.
I'd suggest the change -- if there really is such a change -- is more likely the result of Germany, and maybe France, exerting simultaneous pressure on Washington and Kiev, coupled with leading sectors of the bureaucracy in both Washington and Kiev agreeing with Merkel (Washington for its own reasons and Kiev because of Washington's instructions) that a war does not advance their interests.
Washington is in a position similar to that of Britain prior to the Suez Crisis: one loss away from losing its preeminence on the world stage. Losing that position over a conflict involving, essentially, a gas pipeline to Germany is not worth the risk.
It's likely that Washington's apparent stance is symptomatic of significant discord between the Neocons and the less belligerent of the foreign policy establishment. It appears that the Neocons may have lost this round. One can expect the schism to continue to play out over the coming years
steven t johnson , Apr 10 2021 19:21 utc | 41SingingSam , Apr 10 2021 19:46 utc | 43
vk@29 writes "[My comment@24] is nonsense: if Ukraine takes back the Donbas basin, it will have full control over Crimea. The option of
'trading' the Donbas for Crimea doesn't exist."
It's hard to know how seriously this is meant. Luhansk and Donetsk are not *the* Donbas. Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas. At any rate, insofar as the "Donbas" is essential to control Crimea, though, it is Kherson and Zaporizhye provinces that control the water supply. And it is Mariupol's port that contests the Sea of Azov. That's the part of Donbas that vk implies to be essential for full control of Crimea. But if Mariupol is essential for full control, then Putin neither has full control now, nor does he want it, because it is apparently Putin who pressured the rebels into leaving Mariupol in Ukrainian hands. By the criteria vk uses here, Putin doesn't have full control of Crimea now. This could be understood to show that in the long run Luhansk/Donetsk are untenable too, trapped in a race to collapse with Kyiv. And it would show too that Putin needs a genuine peace in Crimea, needs to do something, because in the long run, time is not on his/Russia's side. The thing is of course, is that either vk doesn't mean what is actually written, or vk won't draw the conclusions vk's own premises require.dh , Apr 10 2021 19:51 utc | 44
MarkU @26 got it right. It is a head fake.
Ukraine's leadership doesn't care about their civilians and soldiers. US and NATO leadership care even less for them. In the current context actions speak far louder than words.
Even the dimmest and most senile leaders can figure out some of the following:
• Russia is not bluffing. Bluffing is not their style.
• Neither the US nor NATO will put boots on the ground of Donbass or Crimea.
• Against Russia the US surface ships in the Black Sea are floating targets, as they are anywhere else in the world.
• There won't be a Minsk3 agreement.
• Nord Stream 2 will be completed no matter what. For the respect, Russia doesn't need the revenue so much.
If in fact Ukraine backs down, it will be a Biden continuation of Trump's off-repeated stunt of walking to the edge and then backing off. You can't expect innovation from senile players.Stonebird , Apr 10 2021 20:31 utc | 48
"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"
A little too much vodka in the Galician contingent would be my guess.blues , Apr 10 2021 20:37 utc | 49
Water, water, in the air but not a drop to drink.
Crimea needs water badly with summer coming on.
Any Ukrainian or Russian advance cannot happen across bogs and mud. Wait until the rain stops, or sink.
I saw somewhere that Zelensky actually thought of opening the canal sometime ago but was "stopped". It was never made clear WHO ordered him not to, or who ordered him to start an anti-Russian drive, or.....etc.
b's post undelines that the previous lines of cultural/liguistic division have not gone away, and have probably hardened. The Nasty brigade are actually in lands that probably do not appreciate them being there. (ie, the Russian speaking areas under Ukie control are probably not overjoyed to become "permanent collateral damage")
Anyone else notice the large movement of Chinese ships in the South China Sea? Doubled trouble for the Empire? They hardly get the time to concentrate on claiming "rights of passage" through Indian territoral waters, or in the Black sea, or in the Artic, without someone stirring the pot. Whatever next?
A diversion or just taking advantage of the limited scope of the attention span of whoever is in command in the US ?Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 52
-// Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. //- -- Henry Kissinger
Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policyWilliam R Henry , Apr 10 2021 21:31 utc | 53
@vk "And that's the objective truth: if the Ukraine conquers the DPR and LPR, it will essentially cut off Crimea from Russia."
How so? It doesn't seem to me that a hypothetical merger of DPR, LPR, and Ukraine would have any effect on Crimea.
In fact, if DPR and LPR join according to the Minsk2 conditions, it could help, as they would (theoretically) become a significant political factor on the national level. Which is why Kiev is not interested in a peaceful unification.
And even a military conquest (which is what you're talking about) would create problems for Kiev, as disenfranchising (or expelling) most of the population there might be somewhat problematic.aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:44 utc | 55
"One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse." --our host
Precisely. The US prefers to start its conflicts with a sucker punch, but that is only possible if the target is unprepared and looking the other way. Russia only needs to let its guard down and look away for a moment for the empire to take advantage of it. Notice how the ukrops are not moving their attack forces back? They will attack while the US ships are in the Black Sea to monitor the fighting and provide direction.
Donbass does not have strategic depth. The plan is to hit the republics with a suicide bum-rush. America doesn't care how many of the ukrop aggressors are exterminated in the attack so long as some units survive to take up positions in the city centers. The empire's strategists figure that with a sudden enough and massive enough assault, and given at least some element of surprise, this can be accomplished overnight. The ukrop cannon fodder will be given orders to not bother securing any areas they overrun and instead continue to charge forward.
Suicidal? Absolutely, because any Novorossiya troops that are overrun will regroup behind the ukrop aggressors and pull back, cutting off the units that penetrated into the cities. That's when those advance ukrop units will go all "Shock & Awe™" on the urban civilians to draw the Novorossiya units away from their established positions and demoralize them.
So long as the Russians are not caught with their pants down they should be able to easily repel the ukrop assault. If they are thinking this through clearly then the Novorossiya troops, with the Russians at their backs, should push for the Dniper in order to acquire that much needed strategic depth. At the same time the Black Sea should be completely cleared of any hostile vessels, and obviously that means the American ships.aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 56
I disagree about DNR and LNR are of importance for Russia to keep hold on Crimea. Crimea secession was prior to the insurrection in eastern Ukraine, they tried to copy Crimean secession (even held referenda in 2014) To the frustration of DNR/LNR activists as well as many russian nationalists, the russian government has rejected all pleas to incorporate the breakaway regions or Ukraine into Russia. On contrary, it has repeatedly tried to broker a compromise, and the Minsk accords are part of. Putin even ostensibly bound his hands by forcing a Duma decree in 2015, revoking the "Medvedyev doctrine" from 2008 Georgian conflict which authorized use of force when ethnic Russians were threatened, Anyway, the russian government could not abandon the insurgency in Donbas without risking to be toppled by nationalists.
One should keep this in mind: Russia does not want the ethnically russian parts of Ukraine which would comprise of most of it. It was not Russia who escalated the inner ukrainian divide. And militarily, LNR and DNR are in no way helpful for Crimea. Normal relations between the RF and Ukraine would be in Russia's interest, would belp both countries. But that is what the West prevents at any cost, to the last Ukrainian. Only the dumb ukronazis don't realize that.JohninMK , Apr 10 2021 22:43 utc | 59
@53 vk Ukraine will never get back DNR and LNR by military means, but, if at all, only via a compromise alongside the Minsk accords. And if you speak to realistic Ukrainians (there are not few, even in the nazi infested galicia and volyn), they all realize that Crimea is gone, and that it always only grudgingly agreed to be an autonomous republic inside Ukraine until 2014.jared , Apr 10 2021 22:52 utc | 61
fx @ 46
Its not just the Fortuna laying pipe now, the Akadamik Cherskiy has been on the job for about 10 day and she can lay pipe faster. According to the plans submitted to the Danes, in whose waters they are laying, Fortuna is expected to finish in May whilst the AC has permission until September but is expected to finish early.
As to the USN ships (Black sea regular USS Ross passed Gib inbound Med today) are not due in until the start of next week and will leave early May. What their role, apart from being a gesture of support for Ukraine, is is not clear. An obvious job of one, if not both, could be to be tied up at a berth in Odessa harbour as a poison pill to try to make sure that Russia does not attack that part of the coast. Were there to be an attack of course.
Seems to be a big mistake by the US to me. I can understand what they are trying to do but, given the option above, if they stay at sea it will be a clear statement that they don't want to get that involved. I'm sure it is not their intention to be so open in showing their true objective.
Another possible reason for a delay until May is that the Orthodox Church celebrates its Eater Sunday on the 2nd May.
William R Henry 52
There is no need to go to the Dneiper to gain sufficient strategic depth, not only would that be a political nightmare but just stopping at the oblast borders should be sufficient. Included in that would be Mariupol, the only Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov. That would make Donbass economically viable.
No need to clear the Black Sea, Russia totally dominates over, on and under it.Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 22:58 utc | 63
@ Posted by: bevin | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13
Wouldnt this be the second time that Zelinski used thread of conflict to help himself in election?
It seems an important point. Why would B over look it, I wonder.
Declaring war and then declaring peace. I guess one cannot chose ones neighbors.
I thought Russia stood to benefit from war. They should keep pressure on Zelinski - training, preparations and support of Donbass. Seems Russia is very measured with assistance.Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 10 2021 23:19 utc | 65
"It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now."
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to return to Brussels next week for more meetings with NATO and European officials, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. grows increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine.
The meetings will take up most of the week,[...]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Brussels at the same time, for a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
"Frank muses that just as the postman always rings a second time to make sure people receive their mail, fate has made sure that he and Cora have both finally paid the price for their crime.
"Schöne Wochenende". Next week will be interesting as last 3 were.Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 23:48 utc | 70
Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.
You misssed it....
Those elections were in 2019....
Zelenski has been compromised since then... most notably via loss of his plutocrat mentor...
The CIA/NSA/RightSector are firmly in charge, because Zelenski did not use his mandate to throttle them.
The best he could have done, was to invite Russia in for the purpose of "stabilizing" ukraine.
That, of course, did not happen.
INDYGrieved , Apr 11 2021 0:45 utc | 75
"Europe" ask Russia to negociate
Western nations chided Russia for failing to turn up at talks in Vienna on Saturday aimed at defusing tension over Ukraine, where a Russian troop buildup close to the border between the two countries has sparked fears of renewed conflict.
Don't you remember?
MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference Friday following talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
"Therefore, we organize our life coming from the premise that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at this stage,"
"I hope that the strategic review which is coming will finally pay attention to vital interests of the European Union in its closest vicinity " Lavrov stressed.
"I hope that today's talks will help us reach a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for it."dh , Apr 11 2021 1:14 utc | 77
@b - "...why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"
J Swift offered a good clue in his comment in the previous thread:"the Nuland crowd have played right into Russia's hands, because the Ukraine is definitely a place where Russia has escalation dominance. I suspect that when some of those famous military channels began chatting, the Russians were not so friendly, and made it clear that an offensive by the Ukies would not only free Russia's hand toward the Nazis and provide a perfect excuse to rid the East and South of them, but that Russia would be specifically targeting US/NATO "advisers," command centers, resupply aircraft or any aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace, and would be just waiting for any US ship in the Black Sea to do something remotely involving it in the conflict, such that it would be on the bottom in minutes."
We know from Pepe Escobar's latest article , presenting highlights from the recent important interview with Nikolai Patrushev (Secretary of the RF Security Council), that Patrushev, a very dangerous and serious man, enjoys undiminished communications with Washington, including a March phone discussion with Jake Sullivan, White House security advisor. If his interview is anything to go by, his candid discussions with US leadership could have scared them totally awake.
Once again, it could well be that the neocons talked up a blazing firestorm that the generals and security professionals ultimately had to pour water on.
Patrick Armstrong in his latest article gives us ample evidence that Victoria Nuland, back in power and riding high, is also vastly ignorant and imperceptive, incapable of learning or reflection, and mediocre in her intelligence. The neocons, as Armstrong points out, have always failed. And they have led the US down a path of loss.
If in fact this Ukraine adventure is over for the moment (if in fact it ever was real in the first place), then it bears total resemblance to every other neocon stupid idea, that goes as far down the path to ruin as it can, sometimes being stopped by wiser heads, sometimes simply charging over the edge, into the abyss.
If Russia gets to choose, one assumes Russia would prefer no military activity in Ukraine. And if Russia is forced into military action, one also assumes as best guess that Russia will reshape the map to a better end for all. It could just be that Russia managed to communicate this to the US, and that the US managed to hear.vk , Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 78
@74 Yes but that doesn't really address b's question. Why was this allowed to happen in the first place? We know all about Nuland and her cookies and encouragement from Washington. But why was the Minsk agreement broken? Why do the Ukies keep lobbing shells into Donbass?
Those troops are bored. I'm sticking with my vodka theory.michaelj72 , Apr 11 2021 1:39 utc | 79
@ Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 55
Just to clarify: Russia has already officially stated (many years ago) that it doesn't want any other piece of the Ukraine (i.e. any other piece beyond Crimea). It wants the Ukraine to survive in the form of a federalized State with the DPR and LPR enjoying high levels of autonomy (a la Spain).
Ukraine is not profitable to Russia. It would drain its coffers were it to have to conquer and absorb it entirely.
Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, and they gave it some relief from its chronic negative population problem - all of that without having to advance one inch over continental Ukraine.Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 2:17 utc | 81
Germany vetoed any more provocations by the US or nato against the Donbass/Crimea that would clearly call in massive Russian support. Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation; an end of that part of the story - and there are several hundred thousand people in the Donbass that now have Russian passports. Russia won't stand for any of it. No matter how much the dumb Ukrainians or the lackey Poles or their US/nato masters huff and puff and bellow.....
it is also not in the slightest German interests for a war to break out right in the middle of Europe that might escalate into a nuclear confrontation, nor is it in their national interest to lose the Nord Stream 2 project... at all.
I don't know about France's position in all this but either France or Germany could/would exercise veto over any nato troops/intervention in the Ukraine.
time to return to the Minsk agreements. in spite of the incredible stupidity of the US foreign policy Establishment and those jackass war-mongers Blinken, Nuland and Austin et. al.Lozion , Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 82
Do you really expect the Amerikastani Empire's puppet Ukranazi coup regime to say "we will attack"? Instead it will attack and then claim Russia attacked it. Just like Hitler's Gleiwitz radio station false flag attack that started WWII.Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83
Zelensky in Istanbul. Erdogan to refuse to recognize Crimea as Russian territory..
Saw a tweet today saying something along the lines of Russia preventing flights to Turkey this summer for "Covid" reasons, read between the lines..
https://sputniknews.com/world/202104101082593169-erdogan-zelensky-confirm-strategic-partnership-between-turkey-and-ukraine-after-istanbul-meeting/Cesare , Apr 11 2021 2:29 utc | 84
Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...
Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77
This is rather sketchily related to reality.
1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.
2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.psychohistorian , Apr 11 2021 2:31 utc | 85
It's been made clear that a Ukrainian attack on the D & L republics would be met with a direct Russian intervention into the conflict and likely would result in the loss of the whole of the disputed oblasts to the separatist republics. Russia has no intention of eliminating Ukraine or occupying Kyiv, but that kind of defeat in the east would spell the end of what political stability remains in Ukraine and likely lead to a new Maidan against Zelensky and possibly further secessions. That's the real downside of this for Russia. Ukraine is threatening to immolate itself as a form of brinksmanship.
Failing that death wish, only if Moscow somehow agrees to stay out of the war does this have the remotest possibility of achieving what the Kyiv government needs. Otherwise it will not attack.@ Lozion | Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 81 with the link about the Ukraine/Turkey meeting today..thanksVirgile , Apr 11 2021 2:56 utc | 86
Interesting position by Erdogan and I would think it would effect Turkey's purchase of Russian defense equipment but who knows where the complexity balance resides in the ME.
Lots of tinder just waiting for a spark to point the blame at for world conflagration. I will believe this situation is cooling when I read about the US ships turning around and not going into the Black Sea.Erdoğan has several goals in Ukraine. Show Russia that he is strong and important for Russia as he has influence on Ukraine. Show the USA that he is an active participant of NATo. Sell his military drones to whoever wants them as well as other turkish products.jayc , Apr 11 2021 3:18 utc | 87
He appears as a king maker and gets business and approval from russia,the EU and the Usa to avoid a war. A very successful move needed to rehabilitate Erdoğan seriously in trouble with both the usa and the EU...Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 12:10 utc | 119
The western press is portraying the events of the past few weeks as representing an unmotivated unilateral Russian troop buildup.
Canada's Globe and Mail yet again deliberately deceives its readers with omission-plagued reporting which the author must know is wrong. This includes describing the Minsk agreements as "the Kremlin's version of how to make peace" which are being utilized in an "enforcement operation" featuring a "coercive use of force" meant to "induce Kyiv, Berlin and Paris" to accept "Moscow's terms." Awful reporting by any objective measure.
Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation flunky describes "spontaneous" Russian deployments designed to "keep Ukraine out of organizations such as the EU or NATO".
Russia should be opposed because: "Modern Ukraine represents the idea in Europe that each country has the sovereign ability to determine its own path, to decide with whom it has relations, and how and by whom it is governed."
Both reporters make the same observation in opening paragraphs, supporting the notion that these pieces are derived from a distributed script or collection of talking points:
1) "For weeks, Russian social media accounts have been flooded with videos showing long convoys of tanks, troop trucks and artillery pieces "
2) "Dozens of videos in social media posts show hundreds of Russian tanks and armored vehicles pouring into the region."Lozion , Apr 12 2021 1:30 utc | 140
I have a feeling, it's only a feeling right now, that the looted black hole that's Ukranazistan after 7 years of "freedom " is such a drain that the EUNATO gangsters behind the Maidan would love to palm the ruins off to Russia. "Here, you broke it, you own it."psychohistorian , Apr 12 2021 4:49 utc | 143
Saker's latest from Martyanov is a must-read. One can imagine Milley's reaction to Gerasimov's little reminder of what awaits any invading force..uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:14 utc | 144
Below is the latest I have read about Ukraine
MOSCOW, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia does not seek a war with Ukraine but is concerned for the Russian-speaking population in the country's eastern Donbass region, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday.
"No one is going to move towards a war, and no one at all accepts any possibility of such a war," Peskov told a Russian TV program.
"Russia has never been a party to this conflict (between Kiev and insurgents in Donbass). But Russia has always said that it will not remain indifferent to the fate of Russian speakers who live in the southeast of Ukraine," he added.
According to the spokesman, Kiev refuses to fulfill its responsibilities under the Minsk agreements on a Donbass settlement, with government forces intensifying "provocative actions" in the region.
Russia, Germany and France are "bewildered" by Kiev's recent claims that the Minsk agreements are useless, Peskov said, adding that there are no alternatives to the pacts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Political advisers of the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders are working towards holding a summit on eastern Ukraine, he said.
"uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:44 utc | 145
Skiffer #122but I do see this situation more as having put the Maidan-coalition on the back-foot and having to disentangle themselves, rather than a carefully pre-planned and coordinated operation.
Thank you and I humourously appreciated your allusions to the asylum that has captured Ukraine. The Maidan Murder Coalition has discovered its karma that was always lying in wait. These villainous rsoles will seriously collapse under the weight of it all, particularly the sniper trick shooters on the Maidan crowds.Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:20 utc | 147
Thank you. Martyanov is direct and unambiguous in the main. I take it that this was the item at the Vineyard of the Saker you cited?
I loved this line: "Everyone can recall a wide-spread (spread most likely by some overly zealous, but not very literate, Russian "patriots") rumor about DDG-75 USS Donald Cook having her electronics "burned" by a couple of intrepid Russian Su-24s in April of 2014, who allegedly forced this American ship to fast return to Constanta, where, allegedly some of her crew expressed a desire to abandon the ship. NYT and other US media, not without justification, called those rumors to be Russian "propaganda". They have a point."Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148
Which seems as good a moment as any to plug my new product (!!). Since that picture of Col. Brittany visiting Donbass in uniform of 72th mechanized division with a prominent skull badge reminded me so of the sketch 'Are we the Baddies' it is time to market my new velcro badges with rainbows and BLM logos. Stick them anywhere to show you're part of the right camp! If you shoulder badges may offend leftist softies, just stick these badges on top of them for the perfect photo op! HTS already ordered a large batch. Now 20% off and buy two get one free!uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 10:11 utc | 149
Turkey wants to build on its successes in Nagorno Karabach to sell its weapon systems to Ukraine. Whether they also explicitly wish the conflict to explode is less clear.Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 11:26 utc | 150
Turkey was not alone in Azerbaijan. Its mate Israel was supplying toys and tricks as well as I recall.Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151
Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148
Erdogan needs money, cash. The same seems to be true of most if not all Western politicians. But some, like Erdogan and Bibi, need lots of money.
Putin on the other hand, does not need cash. He has a healthy fiat currency at his disposal and sells a lot of food, oil, lumber, weapons etc. internationally.
I don't think Ukraine is going to be a good source of cash for Erdogan, or Bibi. They need a lot of cash too.Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152
So there is a massive build-up on both sides in Ukraine? ( The following comment was provoked by info from a tweet that the Ukrainians have "found" a secret plan by the Kremlin for a union with Donbas .. unconfirmed )
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia? There is no "need" for the Russians to physically "invade" the area. They can just sit there and wait for the Ukrainians to do something. Then IF Zelensky decides, it is he who has to "start" the conflict. As a plan it is the perfect reversal of the usual Russian "aggression".
Zelensky's bluff called?
A "union" is just another way of saying "it is ours EVEN IF the title is nominally someone elses, stuff you".
The massive forces on the "frontlines" are there to remind the Ukes and their backers what "might" happen, IF they "invade" Donbas/Luhansk. What can they do about it? Make rude noises in the background?
The US, Israel and Turkey are all examples of one country simply "taking over" parts of another country - without any legality whatsoever. US in NE Syria, Turkey with it's advance of 32km all along a new frontline, with a wall between itself and Syria. Israel with the Golan. None of them have the slightest legal reason to be there. (Chinese claim the Spratleys, which is a legal fig-leaf).
Lateral thinking by Putin? Would he even need a legal fig-leaf?Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 16:45 utc | 155
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia?
Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151
It is an interesting idea, and I would not want to say it will not happen, but it seems un-Putin-like to me based on past performance. He's been very comfortable with frozen conflicts in the past. And I think he probably still wants Ukraine as a buffer, friendly but not Russia, and to keep it whole minus Crimea.karlof1 , Apr 12 2021 18:07 utc | 156
Bemildred | Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152
This way he would still "keep" Ukraine on a tether, and avoid being accused of aggression.
OK, it may go that way but the silence (from Putin) and the refusal of the Russians to give more than vague reasons for their actions, does mean that the west's MSM have nothing to froth at the mouth about- Let Zelensky stew in his own juice.
As well as the regular Army and volunteers, He is going to end up with seven thousand ex-jihadists employees, multiple "mercenaries" from the US and the other parts of the world, orders for Drones, arms etc. BUT he is losing $3 billion revenue from gas (the transit of which has been "slowing down") since the 1st April. I don't know what he has contracted to supply to those futher along the pipeline. Plus the debts to the WB and IMF.
So how long can he keep up the expense of having a standing army of 105'000 or more at the ready?
The Russians can wait them out. If they just don't "talk" or give any PR leeway to the west, then with the attention span of the goldfish in the EU and US citizens, it will drop once again from view. (20 seconds for a goldfish otherwise they would get bored going round and round in a bowl ?)
Diesen in his book, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia , provides the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's actions in Ukraine, that are actually aimed at NATO members, which it fears will be enticed by Russia and fracture the alliance:
"This susceptibility to outside sabotage of regional unity [NATO] can be mitigated by centralizing power by, for example, instigating more overt military tensions to strengthen alliance unity." [Pg. 22]
This also serves to provide additional energy to the Russophobic Narrative and the unfounded rationale for anti-Russian sanctions. The Empire must at all costs continue NATO's viability for that ensures the Empire's geoeconomic and geopolitical control of the EU. The same is true in East Asia where the anti-China narrative must be continued to keep Japan and South Korea under the Empire's thumb, although South Korea is slowly slipping away.
Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83
Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...
Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77
This is rather sketchily related to reality.
1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.
2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.
Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Apr 10 2021 21:41 utc | 54
Interesting interview. Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine" - probably West of the Dnieper, East of the Dnieper). It's in Russian, so maybe inconsistencies with automatic translation may exist:
Петр Авен: "У Гайдара было вполне имперское сознание"
The interview is with Russian neoliberal banker (of the circle of Yeltsin and Gaidar, St. Petersburg intelligentsia) Viktor Loshak, from "Alfa-Bank group" (machine translation). He was a working under Shatalin in the 1980s, so he's allegedly an eye witness (primary source) of the alleged plans.
He also claims that the St. Petersburg neoliberals never intended to end the Union, and that what really happened in the 1990s wasn't intended. Smells like revisionism to me, but ok, the St. Petersburg circle was never known for their intellectual prowess, so it's possible.
@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 51
It has in the sense that the Ukraine wants to restore its entire territory, not just some part of it. There is no scenario where, it being able to reconquer LPR-DPR, it would leave Crimea with Russia.
vk , Apr 10 2021 22:22 utc | 57
ERRATA: @ 53, I said the interviewed was Viktor Loshak. Loshak is the interviewer. The interviewee (the Alfa-Bank banker) is Petr Aven.
Apr 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.orgJamesp , Apr 10 2021 14:58 utc | 1
First the Ukraine said it would use force to recover the renegade Donbass region as well as Crimea. It then moved heavy troops towards the contact lines. The ceasefire at the contact line was broken multiple times per day. Several Ukrainian soldiers died while attempting to remove a minefield in preparation of an attack.
It became clear that a war in Ukraine's east was likely to soon braek out. A successful war would help Ukraine's president Zelensky with the ever increasing domestic crises. A war would also give the U.S. more influence in Europe . The U.S. and NATO promised "unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty".
Russia gave several verbal warnings that any Ukrainian attack on the renegade provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea would cause a serious Russian intervention. There was never a chance that the U.S. or NATO would intervene in such a war. But it was only after Russia started to move some of its troops around that sanity set in. It dawned on the Ukrainian leadership that the idea of waging war against a nuclear armed superpower was not a good one.
Late yesterday it suddenly decided to file for peace (machine translation):The Armed Forces ruled out the use of force to "liberate" Donbass
KIEV, April 9 - RIA Novosti. "Liberation" of Donbass by force will lead to mass deaths of civilians and servicemen, and this is unacceptable for Kiev, said Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak.
"Being devoted to universal human values and norms of international humanitarian law, our state puts the lives of its citizens in the first place," the General Staff's press center quoted him as saying.
According to Khomchak, the Ukrainian authorities consider the political and diplomatic way to resolve the situation in Donbass a priority. At the same time, he added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for an adequate response both to the escalation of the conflict and to "the complication of the military-political and military-strategic situation around the country."
Zelensky himself chipped in (machine translated):Zelensky spoke for a truce in Donbass
MOSCOW, April 9 - RIA Novosti. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the need for a new truce in Donbass after visiting the contact line.
The head of state wrote on Facebook that shooting at the front lines had become "a dangerous routine." "After several months of observing a complete and general ceasefire, we returned to the need to establish a truce," Zelensky said.
As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak emphasized earlier, the use of force to "liberate" Donbass is unacceptable for Kiev, as it is fraught with casualties among the civilian population and military personnel. At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.
It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue . One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.
But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?
Posted by b on April 10, 2021 at 14:44 UTC | PermalinkIt would be so beneficial to Russia in so many ways to fix the Ukraine problem once and for all, that America is now backpedalling fast and hoping the Russians do not get their fix. They want this to continue to be a set of problems for Russia. Avoiding a war would be great for all, but if the West thinks they can resume this contentious scenario, they will find they are wrong. I am willing to bet that most common citizens of ukraine are sick of all this vitriol and tension, crashing economy, and other hardships. Maybe the majority will finally speak up and get their say.
JohninMK , Apr 12 2021 22:42 utc | 160andreweed , Apr 10 2021 15:04 utc | 2
Stonebird @ 155
The new 2020/2024 Russia/Ukraine transit gas contract is 'pump or pay' in that Russia pays $7B over 5 years regardless of whether gas is shipped or not. So it doesn't matter if the volume drops. I am actually surprised that it has given the still harsh weather in Europe.
Meanwhile more figures are out on NS2 and it looks, given good weather, that both Fortuna and AC could finish pipe laying in both Danish and German waters by the end of May. So operational by the end as of year as stated by Gazprom looks on the cards, if not earlier.Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 15:25 utc | 5
"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"
because this is what bullies do. and when they sense they are about to lose in a fight, they ask for peace.Jackrabbit , Apr 10 2021 15:38 utc | 7
Once again, the World is saved. Pure West-emitted Goodness stopped The Dark Lord Putin in his tracks.Don , Apr 10 2021 15:42 utc | 8
At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.
If war is really unacceptable to Ukraine why aren't they pulling back their forces?
1) Because the "Russian aggression' propaganda must continue until Nord Stream 2 is terminated.
2) Because the threat of a war with NATO-supported Ukraine must be sustained to deter Russia in Idlib and elsewhere.
!!imo , Apr 10 2021 15:44 utc | 9
The only deterrent US ships provide is the type that Russia wants to avoid engaging the US directly for fear of an eventual nuclear exchange. Otherwise, those ships provide no challenge to their military capabilities.
I submit the ships are there to encourage Zelensky to take a risk thinking the US has his back. But it appears even he isn't this dumb and this whole thing is going to blow over as I predicted a week or two ago.bevin , Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13
So, was it always about bluff, theater and optics? ... Or did they simply lose their will to die young? I guess Zelensky is a bad-joke comedian after all. He gets the local nazis off his neck (for a while) by being a bold bad-ass boy and passing ideological laws (far from reality); and then goes listen to the frontline generals as they explain the suicidal meaning of his comic bluster. Being an actor, it's all just a stage for a gig, it seems. So, now he tells his pet nazi thugs that Ruslan Khomchak has their phone numbers. Perhaps now that Phil-the-(UK)Greek has died the Nato biolabs will be working on the next 'Plan B' reincarnation-virus pandemic mix. Sputnik-V 2.0 better be ready soon.psychohistorian , Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 14
Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.
"Sluha Narodu ("Servant of the People"), the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky, having won more than 43% of the votes countrywide, will now command majorities of both the party-list and the single-constituency seats in the new parliament; 253 seats altogether out of 422, or a "mono-coalition" as the party is calling the result, or as the hostile Ukrainian media term it, "a landslide [which] has never occurred in the contemporary history of Ukraine and it is more typical for post-Soviet Asian dictatorships..."
"...This beats earlier pollster predictions that Zelensky would be forced into a coalition with Holos ("The Voice"), a US-invented spoiler organization of Lvov region (Galicia) led by pop singer, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. He ended up with less than 6% of the national votes, fewer than forecast. Holos has proved to be neither the voice of youth, nor an organization without oligarch support (it was backed by Victor Pinchuk), nor a political party at all.
"Polling better than predicted was the Donbass (Donetsk, Lugansk regions) party, Opposition Platform led by Victor Medvedchuk, which ended up with 13% nationally; 48% in Lugansk; 42% in Donetsk; 24% in Odessa; and 19% in Nikolaev. If the additional votes of the eastern Opposition Bloc of Boris Kolesnikov and Vadim Novinsky are counted with Medvedchuk's aggregate, together they have drawn majorities of 53% to 54%, putting Zelensky's party in the east in a minority.
"This is the first time democracy has defeated a US Government-installed putsch and junta in Europe since the election of Andreas Papandreou's Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in 1982."
According to John Helmer "President Volodomyr Zelensky (right) is suffering from memory failure, mood swings, and other neurological disorders after his hospitalisation for Covid-19 five months ago..." The obvious theory is that Zelensky was playing for time while giving the ultra fascists and their Canadian sponsors free rein until the elections gave the Ukrainian people- powerless political flotsam and jetsam, tossed around by Ottawa Nazis, Anglo imperialism and a corrupt oligarchy which has been robbing everyone in sight, blind since time immemorial a chance to indicate that it would be an extremely dumb move to attack Russia. Amongst other reasons, because the average Ukrainian would very likely side with the Russians against their ancient persecutors the Poles and Balts.
http://johnhelmer.net/reminder-of-july-21-2019-for-democrats-suffering-acute-memory-failure/#more-46171Steve , Apr 10 2021 16:44 utc | 16
It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue. One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.
But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?
Good question. It fits with the characterization of late empire flailing at trying to exert/maintain control over global narratives. Empire keeps hoping that Russia and China back down because they have no other options than bullying. This is just the latest example of the bully being faced up to.....thank you Mr. Putin!....we just hope the bully goes down without taking all the rest of us with it.AriusArmenian , Apr 10 2021 16:58 utc | 19
I suspect that the US and its NATO lapdogs are playing a distraction game. And I think that the Russian government knows this; but also realizes that the Western nations are cirrently in the grips of madcap rulers. Thus Russia is not taking any chance. One can bet that, as the whole empire crashes, it would like to bring down as much of humanity down with it as it can. The future of the earth is not bright.If Ukraine doesn't start their self-destruction by launching war before end of June then I will believe the danger has passed this year and only because the crazies in the US are hesitating to push the final button.JohnH , Apr 10 2021 16:59 utc | 20Meanwhile the New York Times, which always claims to know everything about Russian intentions, is left clueless!vk , Apr 10 2021 17:05 utc | 22
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/world/europe/russia-ukraine-war-troops-intervention.htmlMarkU , Apr 10 2021 17:28 utc | 27 Prof , Apr 10 2021 17:33 utc | 28But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?
The only plausible explanation is that time isn't in favor of the Ukraine (and maybe the USA). Time is running up.
We should stop seeing capitalism as this unmovable, eternal and indestructible system, and the USA as this eternal and indestructible empire with endless resources. Both presuppositions are entirely false: capitalism and the USA are historically specific phenomena, and they will - 100% certainty - collapse and disappear eventually.
In politics, time is always relative. You know you won't last forever, but you know you don't need to: you just need to last longer than your political enemy. The fact that USA outlived the USSR gave it almost 17 years of incontestable supremacy, even though, analyzing the numbers, we know that the economic apex of the American Empire (its "golden age") was between Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. The absence of its geopolitical rival resulted in the fact that the American Empire reached its pinnacle during Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, not at the time its people was the most happy, during 1945-1969.
But geopolitical apex doesn't always translate automatically to economic apex. The USA also suffered a lot with the Oil Crisis of 1974, after which it quickly started to financialize and deindustrialize, in a process that was best symbolized by the Nixon Reforms (the creation of the Petrodollar in 1971 with the secret talks with the Saudi royal family and the deal with China in 1972). This crisis was masked solely by the fact that the USSR suffered even more with the Oil Crisis than the USA, resulting into a relative ascension. This relative ascension can be verified by the fact that Ronald Reagan was the most popular POTUS of the post-war USA: his reign was, by all economic metrics, a monumental failure, but it was during his watch that the USSR started to collapse.
Signs of cracks in the USA were already evident when George H. W. Bush wasn't re-elected because of a tax revolt by the electorate. During Bill Clinton, the American Empire gained a lot of breathing space thanks to the absorption of the vital space left by the ex-USSR countries, which were ransacked by the American and, to a lesser extent, German, capitalists (Victoria Nuland's husband, for example, got extremely rich with the privatization of the communications services in ex-Yugoslavia, hence her particular interest in Eastern Europe affairs). But even during Bill Clinton we could already see some dark clouds, e.g. the infamous "twin deficits" increase. Bill Clinton also governed long enough to see the crisis of the Asian Tigers (1997) and the Dotcom Crisis (2000). The dark clouds that would result in the storm of September 2008 were already there, gathering.
Analyzing the economic data, we can clearly see that the USSR wasn't the only one in an age of stagnation: since 1990, only China and SE Asia genuinely grew. If the 21st Century is to be consolidated as the "Asian Century", then a historian of the 22nd Century will have to go back to that year (or even earlier, to the mid-1980s) to try to understand the Asian rise. Growth elsewhere (when it happened) was either vegetative or fruit of a relocation (i.e. rise in inequality, bankruptcy of some sectors in favor of others) of wealth. During the 2000s, almost all the economic growth can be exclusively traced back to China (Russia's and Brazil's commodity booms, SE Asia's continued dynamism due to China's outsourcing or financing of American debt).
The 2008 crisis ended Neoliberalism as a hegemonic ideology. Today's world is still very much neoliberal, but only because the global elites don't know what to do and, either way, it's being implemented in a very distorted way, very far from its ideological purity of the 1990s. No one takes neoliberalism seriously anymore, even among the high echelons of the economics priesthood. Some remnants of neoliberal thought are still alive in the form of some living fossils in Latin America, but its end if fait accompli.
It is in this world that the Ukraine chose to align with the American Empire. To put it simply, it chose the wrong side at the wrong time: it chose the West in an era that's shifting to the East. The euphoria of the fall of socialism masked the degeneration of capitalism that was started at the same time and it particularly impacted the Warsaw Pact (Comecon) and the Western ex-USSR nations.
The Ukraine debacle has two aspects. First of all: the Maidan color revolutionaries clearly envisioned a neonazi, pro-Western Ukraine in its territorial integrity, i.e. with Crimea, Luhansk and Donbas. They didn't see the pro-Russians being well-organized enough to be able to quickly fall back to Russia (Crimea being the most spectacular case, rapidly organizing a referendum and fully integrating with Russia). Those losses are big: without Crimea, Ukraine essentially lost any significant Black Sea influence, and without Donbas + Luhansk, it practically lost all its industry and economy. Donbas specifically was a huge blow to the Ukrainians: since the Tsarist era, it was the most industrialized and advanced region of the Russian Empire (even more than Moscow and St. Petersburg) and it continued to be so during the Soviet Era - three of the main Soviet General-Secretaries of the post-war era came from the region (Krushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev).
Secondly, Ukraine, by choosing capitalism, has put itself withing the capitalist metabolic clock. The era of the Marshall Plan is gone. The USA needs wealth and it needs now. It will have to pay tributes to its new metropolis, and the price is high. The USA will settle for nothing less than the entire Ukraine - including the rich regions of the Donbas basin, plus the Crimea (over which its powerful Navy will be able to project into Russian territory). It also won't settle for anything less than a fully NATO-integrated, IMF-controlled Ukraine. That's the price for a full accession to the capitalist club post-2008.
In this sense, Ukraine's time is very short, as it is sucking the IMF dry (financial black hole) and it will collapse soon. The patience of the Empire is short and is getting shorter. As is common with capitalist societies, the Ukraine is also starting to devour itself as it collapses with the lack of vital space: the liberal elites governing it are having to ask themselves how can they get out of this mess without being murdered by the neonazi base that sustains it; at this point, they're more worried about avoiding another Night of the Long Knives than in reconquering the Donbas and Crimea.
The only good aspect I see in the dissolution and extinction of the Ukraine is that it can finally put to rest the myth that Nazism is a brutal, but highly efficient, "system": there's not such a thing - and never was - as a "Nazi system". Germany already was the second industrial superpower by the time Hitler rose to power; he never elaborated any kind of economic theory or even policy, instead delegating it to the already existing (Weimarian) industrial elite. Hitler was just a very powerful cheerleader who dreamed in being an epic movie. There was never such a thing called "national socialism" - it was just the name of the Bavarian party that already existed when Hitler crossed the border; it was by mere chance of destiny that he came from Austria (Southern border) and not Denmark (Northern border), France/Alsace-Lorraine (Western border) or Poland-Sudentenland (Eastern border). Nazism is not a system, it is just crazy liberalism, and I hope the white supremacists and traditionalists in the West take note of that - if they don't want to be crushed.VKoldhippie , Apr 10 2021 17:35 utc | 29
The Oil Shock only added to the 1973-75 recession. The Oil Shock was political in nature, and somewhat coordinated with the USG itself. The deeper causes of the early 70s economic crisis, and of the end of Bretton Woods, was declining profitability across all advanced capitalist states. See Robert Brenner's book, The Economics of Global Turbulence.
El Cid , Apr 10 2021 17:49 utc | 32
It is more than 24 hours since the initial announcement of a stand down and it would be nice to see some confirmation. Troops withdrawing would be confirmation. If it is happening in is not reported. What we get tends to be like the NYT item cited by John H @ 20. Nothing in that article but fantasy and delusion. The ongoing narrative crowds out facts until nothing is left. No one is as bad as NYT, still it is hard to trust anything we read.
Keeping an army in the field indefinitely is difficult. At minimum the troops must be fed and must be kept busy. Does Ukraine have the wherewithal to do that? I tend to doubt that, and yes, I am speculating. We will find out much later how bad desertion has been. We will find out much later how the hodgepodge of conscripts, mercs, Special Forces, and NATO got along. Reporting from 2014 had it that 600 NATO of every flavor were captured in the Debaltsevo cauldron. If you believe that. I can't see how Ukraine musters and fields another army after this if it is in fact over. More likely future armies will resemble what US manipulates in Syria -- Turks, Uighurs, jihadis from whole planet, mercs.
Domestic politics in Uke have to be crazy. No one can possibly know what is happening except the US Embassy. And they have their brains fogged by a lifetime of NYT fiction. No good locals for them to work with. If there was anyone good we would have seen them by now.jayc , Apr 10 2021 18:02 utc | 34
One must be awestruck with the talent the neo cons have for nation destruction. What they created in Ukraine is a virtual post nuclear war. Neither the EU or Russia want this basket-case-failed-Nazi state. Like the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, it has fortified its enemy whom it intended to weaken. Now, Putin has a Hezbollah type ally in the Donetsk and Lugansk region, and it has Russian Crimean back to the Motherland.Sam F , Apr 10 2021 18:10 utc | 35
Rick Rozoff, writing for the Antiwar website, has taken note of other activity - not least next week's scheduled appearances at NATO hdq of both the US Sec State and US Defence sec with Ukraine discussions on agenda.
Rozoff also notes that the CC of Ukraine armed forces continues with bluster about Ukraine's "territorial integrity" and invoking NATo Article 5.
https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/09/ukraines-top-commander-invokes-natos-article-5-military-assistance-clause-as-west-continues-to-oversee-ukraines-war-in-the-donbass/dadooronron , Apr 10 2021 18:21 utc | 36
Nuland et al may be trying to show themselves loyal agents of Israel, testing whether Russia can be distracted from Syria, or pretending to raise the cost of NS2. Russia and China could make balanced moves in the Caribbean to tame the bullies, but may see no advantage in counterthreats.
Such an utter humiliation of the US to pursue such foolish and racist FP, admitting its complete control by money power in all federal branches and mass media.Baron , Apr 11 2021 9:00 utc | 108
As others here suggest, it's possible to read this as a success for the neocons. Ukrainian gov't troop movements set off Russian troop movements, which are then portrayed as aggressive, justifying whatever. It is very hard to believe that they seriously contemplated an attack on Russia's doorstep, or in its antechamber. But the question remains as to how far Zelensky's can has been kicked down the road.Martin , Apr 11 2021 11:07 utc | 114
It's a trap, the calls for peace, new negotiations and stuff, it's to create the impression that the West and Ukraine are the good boys.
The next stage will be a heap of accusations that Russia is breaking the peace, makes threatening moves, is poised to take over rUkraine.
This will be followed by an attack on the two Republics, dead bodies everywhere, un indisputable reason to convince the Germans with to scrap Nord-2.
After foreign pressure, several western companies abandoned building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. For example, the pipes are now laid by the Russian ship Fortuna instead of a Swiss one ( https://www.unz.com/pescobar/ukraine-redux-war-russophobia-and-pipelineistan/).
I am wondering if this might be an advantage for Russia and other countries in the mid to long term, that their companies are forced to master all the complex technologies involved as fast as possible? Maybe they will even become competitors to their western equivalents?
Usually, when governments decide about big industry projects, they demand that their national companies get some orders to profit from the project. Now, it seems reversed. The German government is still not openly against Nord Stream 2, but it has to be finished without some of the companies originally involved.
Apr 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com
William Wahl SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoJust put Hunter on it. He'll fix this right up.RODNEY SMITH SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoWhere does Burisma stand on the issue? Will be Biden's brief.
Apr 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com
All the day's Opinion headlines. PREVIEW SUBSCRIBE
The Kremlin has demonstrated time and again its willingness to use energy trade to advance its geopolitical ambitions. It would be unwise, if not reckless, for Europe to increase its dependence on Gazprom , Russia's state-owned energy company, and give Moscow direct control over which countries are supplied with gas and which can be cut off.
The current contract between Gazprom and Ukraine's gas-transit operator guarantees the flow of westward exports via Ukraine until the end of 2024. But make no mistake: The day Nord Stream 2 is completed, that promise will be worthless. Even if some transit through Ukraine persists, Ukraine will be subject to the Kremlin's whims.
The fighting in the Donbas, where Russia operates through its proxies, mercenaries and even regular troops, has continued unabated for more than seven years. The gas pipeline has been spared from shelling -- Russia needs uninterrupted gas flows through Ukraine as much as we do. This mutual dependence is a deterrent that Nord Stream 2 will remove.
Ukraine is grateful to the U.S. Congress, which recognized the true nature of this pipeline project, and the European Parliament, which voted 10-to-1 on Jan. 21 to demand a halt to construction with a resolution on the arrest of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny in Moscow.
Germany and Europe already have access to a massive gas-transit network spanning the Black and Baltic seas, Belarus and Ukraine. The existing capacity is more than 50% higher than current consumption of Russian gas in the European Union. Even if the demand increases as Germany is working to phase out nuclear and coal power generation, there is no commercial need for another pipeline.
While Germany has little to gain, Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in transit revenue if the second Baltic Sea gas link is built -- a fact that Nord Stream 2 apologists often present as the only basis for Ukrainian opposition. The economic effect will be significant, but the claim is deliberately misleading. Ukrainian soldiers will be putting their lives on the line if Russia decides to escalate the conflict in the Donbas after it no longer needs to consider the effect on gas exports.
Ukraine understands the need to strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance and the desire to find a solution that works for both Washington and Berlin. It is, however, incumbent on the Kremlin first to demonstrate respect for international law. The ball is in Moscow's court. It can and should end hostilities in the Donbas region, withdraw its troops from the Crimean Peninsula and restore Ukrainian sovereignty.
President Biden was right to call the pipeline "a bad deal for Europe." As the project inches closer to completion, Ukrainians can't help but recall Mitterrand's words from nearly 30 years ago. Ukraine was tricked, just as the French president predicted. Let us not repeat history but learn from it. We must come together and reject Nord Stream 2 once and for all.
Mr. Reznikov is Ukraine's deputy prime minister for reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories. V
V Lee SUBSCRIBER 1 day agoThe Ukrainian kleptocracy will see their cut shrink or disappear when gas will start flowing via Nord Stream 2. Not "a bad deal for Europe" just for Ukraine.A Koster SUBSCRIBER 17 hours agoDid i mention Turkey's role in Syria ?A Koster SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago
It's interesting that everyone conveniently fails "to mention the role that gas line geopolitics played in the "fallout" between Erdogan and Assad; as soon as Assad vetoed the Qatar-Turkey pipeline that would have brought massive wealth to his family's energy transshipment business (BMZ Ltd), Assad instead signing on to the Iran-Iraq-Syria "Friendship Pipeline", the friendship was ended and the war on Assad commenced"
This article is about one thing.. absolutely nothing to do with a risk to Ukraine's national securityJames Schumaker SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago
'Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in transit revenue if the second Baltic Sea gas link is built"
And Turkey is in there like a dirty shirt.. see "Russia Warns of Full-Scale War in Eastern Ukraine, Blames Kyiv".. like it was with Azerbaijan as they slaughtered thousands of Christians in Armenia.. and all for the first find in the Caspian Sea by Azerbaijan since Russia's breakup.. HINT: they wanted.. not needed.. a direct route west for a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.. which they got in a Russia brokered peace deal
So i guess congratulations are in order to Biden's NATO as they loyally keep working on enlarging the EU and keeping the oil baron families of Erdogan and Alyiev filthy richI suggest you look up the Budapest Memorandum. The U.S. gave no guarantees. Like Russia, it gave assurances. I also suggest you stop falling for pro-Trump talking points and look at what Trump actually did with regard to Ukraine. He tried to extort its President into digging up dirt on his main political opponent by threatening to withdraw military aid. That's what he was impeached for -- the first time.RODNEY SMITH SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoWhere does Burisma stand on the issue? Will be Biden's brief.Jens Praestgaard SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoOtto von Bismarck's maxim for the newly formed German state was to always keep cordial relations with Russia. NordStream 2 is a step towards normalization of the German/Russian relationship after 120 years of failure.Jim Mcdonnell SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoBismarck's policy made sense in 19th Century Europe, and had Kaiser Wilhelm II not scuttled it we would be living in a very different world. But he did scuttle it, and the world has changed - largely in ways Bismarck sought to prevent - a great deal, as has Europe.Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Bismarck's thoughts about Germany's geopolitical situation are still relevant today. He argued that the map that matters for German politicians is the map of Europe [and since 1945 that frame has been enlarged, has included the US and Canada]. That Germany needed to pay particular attention to relationships with its neighbors. That the country was to small to dominate Europe, and should rely on a system of stable alliances to ensure stability, Ukraine and Russia are neighbors, Bismarck would have seen relationships with both countries as relevant. Communication channels need to be kept open, those relationships need to be managed. One neighbor, Russia, is an authoritarian state and since 2014 more openly aggressive. It needs to be contained and challenged. The US has not been a reliable partner in doing that in the last 4 years under Trump. That might change under a Biden, but will he be able to make and lock in the appropriate policy decisions? We'll see.John Bute SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoGermany has made a terrible strategic mistake by abandoning nuclear power to become more and more dependent on Russian natural gas. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear power and about 10% from fossil fuel. Only moderate increases in hydro power and renewable energy will make it fossil fuel independent.Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoGerman voters make their own decisions about climate change and definitely don't look for US advice. Power plants burning coal and producing nuclear energy are coming off the grid. Natural gas will continue to be important in that mix for quite some time. The Green Party's power is growing. It successfully expanded its electoral base in 2 state elections this spring with broad support from middle class voters. After all, environmentalism is a full belly movement. The Greens will challenge the German Conservatives, Merkel's Christian Democrats, in September at the ballot box in national elections and other state elections. And Merkel will not be on the ballot. Her CDU, which has been consistently the most pro-American party in Europe, finds that pro-American stance is now a big liability. 4 years of the Trump regime. which treated Germans as clients, changed the political landscape. Fewer Germans see the US is as a reliable partner, and that is now true even in Merkel's party.SCOTT CORE SUBSCRIBER 1 day agoGermany may view the US as an unreliable partner but they still rely on the US for economic and military protection. Perhaps Germans have replaced the US with NATO in their minds and ignored the fact that the US is the majority of NATO. Where Russia to threaten Germany where do you think Germany would turn? France? UK? China?Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 20 hours ago
So Germans are free to trash Trump for asking them to provide a modicum of their own protection but in the end they will look to the US should they be threatened either economically by a cutoff of gas from Russia or a military threat from Russia.Look at Gallup polling data or the Pew Research Center's data in its Global attitudes program. In many countries Trump ranked even below Xi or Putin. He was perceived as the bigger threat--unstable, angry, without a strategic vision, just a ventilator of his emotions, a middle schooler craving attention, a clown. Yet he made these huge claims, all lies, that the US was respected and listened to. The polling data tells us otherwise. Trump's lying and the hubris that fell from these lies, that is unprecedented.michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
And now; THE LOSER. The Mouse-of-Mar-a-Lago. But, the Republican Party still follows him.. The man will be remembered as the worst president the US ever had, ranking even below the corrupt Harding and the imbecile Buchanan. The lowest of the low. And as THE LIAR [-->Trump should register that as a trademark]. History books won't be kind to him and the suckers that still gobble up his lies even now after the putsch or whatever you want to call the Capitol "riot." Barnum was right!England and France have their own nuclear deterrents. Europeans just want cheap steady supply of energy. Russia is in the Middle East because Hillary and Obama destroyed Syria and Libya. Bush put us in Iraq and Afghanistan for 20 years! Trump started the withdrawal. Let's hope sleepy preacher Biden continues it.Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoA little reality check: At the very moment when Washington supposedly champions energy independence and warns European allies against becoming too dependent on Moscow, American refineries are buying more Russian oil than ever before.David Thomson SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Check out the article by Javier Blas on the Bloomberg News site, published Mar. 24, 2021: "U.S. Thirst for Russian Oil Hits Record High Despite Tough Talk."Puerto Rico buys Russian LNG because there are no American-built LNG tankers. Thanks to the Jones Act, we can't ship LNG from Texas to PR.Eugene Boutz SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago (Edited)Ukraine is composed of three *identities* which have nothing in common and want nothing in common.Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago (Edited)
There are the Russian speakers in the East and along the Black Sea, the people surrounding Lviv in the West which want to be European and the denizens of Kiev who tend to favor the values and views of the Chancellor of Germany in the '30s.
Ukraine already has a tripartite schism and is most likely headed for a tripartite split once the Russian Federation, having had its absolute fill of Kiev's games, obtains Beijing approbation to bring the matter to a conclusion with weaponry of which Kiev can only dream.
The United States is not going to fight a nuclear war with Russia over the interests of the Kiev faction nor does Germany want it to.
Nor do I.
Nor do you.The Germans are not going to cave. They will finish the pipeline. It is now 96 % built. The West Europeans started importing Russian gas more than 40 years ago. Ronald Reagan failed when he tried to stick it to the Germans with sanctions. And so will Cancun Ted. The old pipeline system that runs through Ukraine has been reverse-engineered with EU funds about a decade ago. Ukraine has already been reliably supplied from the West when the Russians cut supplies. The talking points in this piece are based on Cancun Ted's hallucinations, and not the facts on the ground. For a factual analysis see Eugene Rumer's long piece published today in Defense News "Punishing Germany for Nord Stream 2 does nothing to stop Putin." Rumer is the director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously worked as a national intelligence officer on Russia and Eurasia for the U.S. National Intelligence Council. He actually knows what he is talking about.William Wahl SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoJust put Hunter on it. He'll fix this right up.michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoBiden has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy decision in his entire career in Washington. Mitterrrand was a bureaucrat who started his rise in vischy France. Ukraine is in a tough spot. So is Russia. They have been fighting for 7 years. Body counts go up,citizens do not like it. Russia will not sacrifice one pipeline for another. Ukraine and Russia can agree to no NATO troops on their border and tensions will go down.bruce miller SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoAnd who talked Ukraine into giving up their nukes? Well we did. Or rather, Slick and his pals did. Bet the Ukrainians wish they'd kept a bunch. Just for old time's sake.michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days agoWhat bargaining power would they be?No person or government in their right mind would use them. This is about land grabbing.
Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:51 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
Apr 09, 2021 | www.unz.com
Aaron Hilel , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:58 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago@AH14 t turns tail (as usual).Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
NATO commissars chase Ukrainian conscripts into RU artillery and machinegun fire until they lose control over their units, which immediately flee the battlefield (as usual).
If V.V. Putin feels merciful, there's no Buratino rocket barrages on troop concentration points, as happened during Ilovaisk debacle.
Now, hopefully NATO will puff up and use their vaunted Israeli drones during the attack, so RU can study the remains.
You never, ever attack entrenched, prepared and boresighted Russians in tank country, without air superiority, because if you do you get Kursk.
In the best case.
In worst, and most probable case, NATO will get another Saur Mogila disaster.@RurikAlfred , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:39 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
Yes, Russia could have some aces hidden up their sleeve. So could the US. So could Nato. So could even Ukraine...@Zarathustra urriculum. The Russians must stop protecting the Jews who control the narrative everywhere. Jews must no longer control more than 10% of the media. They are only 1-2% of the population.Desert Fox , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:45 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
Like the Jews, Galician Ukrainians are always victims. What they did to the Poles during the German occupation is forgotten.
Ukrainians deported from Poland in 1944 recall mass killings, explain paths to historical reconciliationAvery , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:31 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
The zionists are in control in the Ukraine and if they start a war with Russia the Ukraine is going to be destroyed, Russia has warned Ukraine over and over but being the typical zionists that they are, they will accept nothing but destruction and bloodshed as long as it is someone elses blood and destruction.
The zionists have destroyed Iraq and Syria and Libya and Yemen and America.@alwayswrite ous Regions/Republics had the legal right to secede from the given SSR they were attached to. Furthermore, once USSR dissolved, any legal basis for a given (former) SSR to have sway on the given Autonomous Soviet Republic ended.Herald , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:34 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
In fact most of original Ukraine was artificially "fattened up" by various Russian and Soviet leaders.
[Territories Annexed to Ukraine]
https://external-preview.redd.it/Ac69B2pvCGyFG9VcPAlyC-7dqI5V3h33vqf2URyOvGo.jpg?width=927&height=485.340314136&auto=webp&s=063b7385b544833a187844f9e198422@Miro23 Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.
Merkel and Macron know just what the US is playing at. If the Ukraine does get the deserved thrashing, that it is literally begging for, then of course there will be German and French knee jerk condemnations along with the ritual imposition of token sanctions. However this dangerous episode, will likely harden the resolve of both countries to escape the grip of the flailing hegemon, which is now in its death throes. So perhaps in the slightly longer term, the whole episode will backfire on the US and big time at that.
Russia might feel that war in Ukraine is inevitable and perhaps it would be better now, rather than later.
@Levtraro ganovich, henchman to Stalin, but with an agenda of his own, had his troops and secret-police agents seize essentially ALL the food stocks from perhaps 2 million peasant families, resulting in death by starvation for multi-millions.Ukraine Tiger , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
Thirdly, the heaviest battles in the Second World War were mostly fought in Ukraine. Again, the death totals of the civilian population were huge. The land was ravaged. Essentially the entire population were deeply traumatized.
Consequently one should not wonder that to the average Russian Ukrainians appear to be dazed and dumbed-down. So next time you see your Russian friends, kindly remind them that their brethren to the south and west should be regarded and treated with considerable compassion.
@Majority of OneEugeneGur , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:15 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
Good comment. Basically what I have been saying since Maidan. I understand why it has not happened but the time has definitely come. I think the demarcation would be Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaev and then north along the Dnipro including Khortiskia and up to East Sumy. I know it sounds warmongerish but I hope this happens. Get this shit over with. There is so much happening in this country that discriminates against ethnic Russians more each day.
@Quartermaster s military is nothing like they were in '14.
No, it isn't; it's worse. The Ukrainian army suffers huge non-combat losses every day: accidents from drinking or narcotics, desertion, suicides. Their commanders are incompetent and super-dumb as well as first-rate scumbags.
They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor.
That they do not remember, for that never happened, at least, not as described. What they do remember, however, are the caldrons in 2014-2015 and their horrendous losses.
Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again.
If anyone cared to swallow it, it would be. Alfred Muscaria , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Quartermastercanspeccy , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
"They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor. Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again."
Ummmmm . it would appear that the grandchildren of the architects of the Holodomor are the ones currently in power in Ukraine. Pretty amazing level of cucking and submission if you ask me.
Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:46 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
Did no one think of letting the people of each Ukrainian oblast decide for themselves to which country they wished to belong?
Oh, but wait a minute, that's what those Russian bastards did in Crimea.
So sure, WWIII, bring it on, if that's what it takes to restore Crimea to the rule of the legitimate kleptocrats in Kiev.
@Levtraro vernment of Ukraine and that the current regime is nothing more than a puppet state which does NOT represent the best interests of the Ukrainian people and particularly of those particularly Russian speaking folks in Crimea and the Donbass region.
The illegitimate regime in Kiev is almost entirely Khazarian Talmudist dominated and in cahoots with the fascistic Uniates in Galicia. That group should be entirely divorced from any future Ukrainian state as their history has a long involvement with Western Roman Catholic cultures and consequently is an alien entity within the body politick of Ukraine, Belarus or Russia. Let them go their own way and not infect their neighbors to the south and east with their culturally indigestible attitudes.
Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, APR 09, 2021 - 10:29 AM
Turkey's foreign ministry on Friday confirmed that it's granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea at a moment tensions with Russia over Ukraine are spiraling higher with tit-for-tat threats. Given it revealed the initial notification was two weeks ago, a pair of American warships are expected imminently to enter the Black Sea .
The foreign ministry said in a statement while referencing the treaty that regulates passage through the straits: "A notice was sent to us 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that two U.S. warships would pass to the Black Sea in line with the Montreux Convention. The ships will remain in the Black Sea until May 4. "
Typically the US gives 14-days notice prior to sending warships into the Black Sea, according to the long established treaty with Turkey regarding use of the Bosporus to enter the waters.
And Reuters notes the significance of the timing as follows : "The United States has informed Turkey that two of its warships will pass through Turkish straits to be deployed in the Black Sea until May 4, Ankara said on Friday, as Russia has bulked up its military forces on Ukraine's eastern border."
Late Thursday an unnamed US defense official had told CNN the warships would be deployed "in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine ," and further the deployment would "send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching," according to the report .
Importantly, all of this comes just days after Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky personally urged NATO to immediately expand its Black Sea presence. He had said in a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia , which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping," the president's press service indicated in a readout.
Zelensky had also traveled to the site of frontline renewed fighting in the Donbas region on Thursday in a show of support to Ukrainian national forces who are clashing with Russia-backed separatists.
While American vessels have long operated in the Black Sea, even semi-regularly conducting drills there, this time the US ships are being sent there specifically as a "warning" to Moscow .
But Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday announced naval maneuvers of its own, confirming that it's moving more than 10 navy vessels from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea in order to conduct naval exercises.
With the rival naval build-up on the Kremlin and Ukraine's doorstep, and with the mutual amassing of troops on either side of the border... what could go wrong?
Bdubs 49 minutes agoMisesmissesme 1 hour ago (Edited)
And Trump was the bloodthirsty war monger?
Is there ANYTHING the left disparages the right for that is not a psychological projection?
These f-ers need therapy.USAllDay 1 hour ago remove link
Man, we're doing everything we can to turn Ukraine into Poland circa 1939.
Maybe we can find an Archduke to assassinate so we can turn the clock all the way back to 1914.GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour ago
Joe sent his kid to Ukraine to blow lines. He'll send yours to blow up.BeePee 1 hour ago
No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.GreatCaesar'sGhost 58 minutes ago
There were NATO advisors in Ukraine. Even that should be stopped.
Selling arms to Ukraine, most likely will continue. That's what companies do.
The Ukrainians are being pushed to make a move against Donbass and even Crimea. It is a poor country buying expensive weapons, doesn't end well.
Apr 09, 2021 | www.unz.com
Originally from: Ukraine redux, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz Review
Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let's cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war.
On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint press conference with European Council President in Kiev on March 3, 2021. Photo: AFP / Sergey Dolzhenko
The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev's official policy. That's exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).
More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of "Russian aggression." Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation.
It was this (italics mine) de facto declaration of war, which Moscow took very seriously, that prompted the deployment of extra Russian forces to Crimea and closer to the Russian border with Donbass. Significantly, these include the crack 76 th Guards Air Assault Brigade, known as the Pskov paratroopers and, according to an intel report quoted to me, capable of taking Ukraine in only six hours.
It certainly does not help that in early April US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, fresh from his former position as a board member of missile manufacturer Raytheon, called Zelensky to promise "unwavering US support for Ukraine's sovereignty." That ties in with Moscow's interpretation that Zelensky would never have signed his decree without a green light from Washington.On March 8, 2021, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during observance of International Women's Day in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP / Mandel Ngan
Controlling the narrative
Sevastopol, already when I visited in December 2018 , is one of the most heavily defended places on the planet, impervious even to a NATO attack. In his decree, Zelensky specifically identifies Sevastopol as a prime target.
Once again, we're back to 2014 post-Maidan unfinished business.
To contain Russia, the US deep state/NATO combo needs to control the Black Sea – which, for all practical purposes, is now a Russian lake. And to control the Black Sea, they need to "neutralize" Crimea.
If any extra proof was necessary, it was provided by Zelensky himself on Tuesday this week in a phone call with NATO secretary-general and docile puppet Jens Stoltenberg.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference at the end of a NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2021. Photo: AFP / Olivier Hoslet
Zelensky uttered the key phrase: "NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass" – which means, in practice, NATO expanding its "presence" in the Black Sea. "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia, which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping."
All of these crucial developments are and will continue to be invisible to global public opinion when it comes to the predominant, hegemon-controlled narrative.
The deep state/NATO combo is imprinting 24/7 that whatever happens next is due to "Russian aggression." Even if the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) launch a blitzkrieg against the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics. (To do so against Sevastopol in Crimea would be certified mass suicide).
In the United States, Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices to state the obvious: "According to the media branch of the US military-industrial-congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more 'Russian aggression.'"
What's implied is that Washington/Brussels don't have a clear tactical, much less strategic game plan: only total narrative control.
And that is fueled by rabid Russophobia – masterfully deconstructed by the indispensable Andrei Martyanov, one of the world's top military analysts.
A possibly hopeful sign is that on March 31, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, talked on the phone about the proverbial "issues of mutual interest."
Days later, a Franco-German statement came out, calling on "all parties" to de-escalate. Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg.French President Emmanuel Macron speaks as German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on after a German-French Security Council video conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on February 5, 2021. Photo: AFP / Thibault Camus
The problem is Merkel and Macron don't control NATO. Yet Merkel and Macron at least are fully aware that if the US/NATO combo attacks Russian forces or Russian passport holders who live in Donbass, the devastating response will target the command centers that coordinated the attacks.
What does the hegemon want?
As part of his current Energizer bunny act, Zelensky made an extra eyebrow-raising move. This past Monday, he visited Qatar with a lofty delegation and clinched a raft of deals , not circumscribed to LNG but also including direct Kiev-Doha flights; Doha leasing or buying a Black Sea port; and strong "defense/military ties" – which could be a lovely euphemism for a possible transfer of jihadis from Libya and Syria to fight Russian infidels in Donbass.
Right on cue, Zelensly meets Turkey's Erdogan next Monday. Erdogan's intel services run the jihadi proxies in Idlib, and dodgy Qatari funds are still part of the picture. Arguably, the Turks are already transferring those "moderate rebels" to Ukraine. Russian intel is meticulously monitoring all this activity.
A series of informed discussions – see, for instance, here and here – is converging on what may be the top three targets for the hegemon amid all this mess, short of war: to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices; to crash the Nord Steam 2 pipeline; and to boost profits in the weapons business for the military-industral complex.
So the key question then is whether Moscow would be able to apply a Sun Tzu move short of being lured into a hot war in the Donbass.
On the ground, the outlook is grim. Denis Pushilin, one of the top leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics, has stated that the chances of avoiding war are "extremely small." Serbian sniper Dejan Beric – whom I met in Donetsk in 2015 and who is a certified expert on the ground – expects a Kiev attack in early May .
The extremely controversial Igor Strelkov, who may be termed an exponent of "orthodox socialism," a sharp critic of the Kremlin's policies who is one of the very few warlords who survived after 2014, has unequivocally stated that the only chance for peace is for the Russian army to control Ukrainian territory at least up to the Dnieper river. He stresses that a war in April is "very likely"; for Russia war "now" is better than war later; and there's a 99% possibility that Washington will not fight for Ukraine.
On this last item at least Strelkov has a point; Washington and NATO want a war fought to the last Ukrainian.
Rostislav Ischenko, the top Russian analyst of Ukraine whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Moscow in late 2018, persuasively argues that, "the overall diplomatic, military, political, financial and economic situation powerfully requires the Kiev authorities to intensify combat operations in Donbass.
"By the way," Ischenko added, "the Americans do not give a damn whether Ukraine will hold out for any time or whether it will be blown to pieces in an instant. They believe they stand to gain from either outcome."
Gotta defend Europe
Let's assume the worst in Donbass. Kiev launches its blitzkrieg. Russian intel documents everything. Moscow instantly announces it is using the full authority conferred by the UNSC to enforce the Minsk 2 ceasefire.
In what would be a matter of 8 hours or a maximum 48 hours, Russian forces smash the whole blitzkrieg apparatus to smithereens and send the Ukrainians back to their sandbox, which is approximately 75km north of the established contact zone.
In the Black Sea, incidentally, there's no contact zone. This means Russia may send out all its advanced subs plus the surface fleet anywhere around the "Russian lake": They are already deployed anyway.Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as Novator Design Bureau director-general Farid Abdrakhmanov and Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko shake hands during a signing ceremony for government contracts in Alabino, Moscow region, Russia. on June 27, 2019. Photo: AFP / Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik
Once again Martyanov lays down the law when he predicts, referring to a group of Russian missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau: "Crushing Ukies' command and control system is a matter of few hours, be that near border or in the operational and strategic Uki depth. Basically speaking, the whole of the Ukrainian 'navy' is worth less than the salvo of 3M54 or 3M14 which will be required to sink it. I think couple of Tarantuls will be enough to finish it off in or near Odessa and then give Kiev, especially its government district, a taste of modern stand-off weapons."
The absolutely key issue, which cannot be emphasized enough, is that Russia will not (italics mine) "invade" Ukraine. It doesn't need to, and it doesn't want to. What Moscow will do for sure is to support the Novorossiya people's republics with equipment, intel, electronic warfare, control of airspace and special forces. Even a no-fly zone will not be necessary; the "message" will be clear that were a NATO fighter jet to show up near the frontline, it would be summarily shot down.
And that brings us to the open "secret" whispered only in informal dinners in Brussels, and chancelleries across Eurasia: NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia.
One thing is to have yapping dogs like Poland, Romania, the Baltic gang and Ukraine amplified by corporate media on their "Russian aggression" script. Factually, NATO had its collective behind unceremoniously kicked in Afghanistan. It shivered when it had to fight the Serbs in the late 1990s. And in the 2010s, it did not dare fight the Damascus and Axis of Resistance forces.
When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to "defend" it against – who else? – those pesky Russians.
That's the rationale behind the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21 , now on till the end of June, mobilizing 28,000 soldiers from the US and 25 NATO allies and "partners."
This month, men and heavy equipment pre-positioned in three US Army depots in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands will be transferred to multiple "training areas" in 12 countries. Oh, the joys of travel, no lockdown in an open air exercise since everyone has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Pipelineistan uber alles
Nord Stream 2 is not a big deal for Moscow; it's a Pipelineistan inconvenience at best. After all the Russian economy did not make a single ruble out of the not yet existent pipeline during the 2010s – and still it did fine. If NS2 is canceled, there are plans on the table to redirect the bulk of Russian gas shipments towards Eurasia, especially China.Connecting German infrastructure for Nord Stream 2 is in place. In this handout photo released February 4, 2020, by the press service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany. The Eugal pipeline, which will receive gas from Nord Stream 2 in the future, has reached full pumping capacity, and the second line of the pipeline has been introduced. Photo: AFP / Press-service of Eugal / Sputnik
In parallel, Berlin knows very well that canceling NS2 will be an extremely serious breach of contract – involving hundreds of billions of euros; it was Germany that requested the pipeline to be built in the first place.
Germany's energiewende ("energy transition" policy) has been a disaster. German industrialists know very well that natural gas is the only alternative to nuclear energy. They are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon – even assuming the egemon will be able to deliver, as its fracking industry is in shambles. Merkel explaining to German public opinion why they must revert to using coal or buy shale from the US will be a sight to see.
As it stands, NATO provocations against NS2 proceed unabated – via warships and helicopters. NS2 needed a permit to work in Danish waters, and it was granted only a month ago. Even as Russian ships are not as fast in laying pipes as the previous ships from Swiss-based Allseas , which backed down, intimidated by US sanctions, the Russian Fortuna is making steady progress, as noted by analyst Petri Krohn: one kilometer a day on its best days, at least 800 meters a day. With 35 km left, that should not take more than 50 days.
Conversations with German analysts reveal a fascinating shadowplay on the energy front between Berlin and Moscow – not to mention Beijing. Compare it with Washington: EU diplomats complain there's absolutely no one to negotiate with regarding NS2. And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin's judgment is correct: the Americans are "not agreement-capable." One just needs to look at the record.
Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.
At the same time, the situation is evolving towards a possible new alignment in the heart of the "West": US/UK pitted against Germany/France. Some Anglosphere exceptionals are certainly more Russophobic than others.
The toxic encounter between Russophobia and Pipelineistan will not be over even if NS2 is completed. There will be more sanctions. There will be an attempt to exclude Russia from SWIFT. The proxy war in Syria will intensify. The hegemon will go no holds barred to keep creating all sorts of geopolitical harassment against Russia.
What a nice wag-the-dog op to distract domestic public opinion from massive money printing masking a looming economic collapse. As the empire crumbles, the narrative is set in stone: it's all the fault of "Russian aggression."
Alfa158 , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:05 am GMT • 1.9 days agoAgent76 , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:09 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
Well, I'm hoping the Ukrainians will finally remember Bernard Lewis's warning about the U.S. and realize they are being used like a Kleenex: "America is harmless as an enemy but treacherous as a friend."
Americans have had it and will never tolerate sending combat troops into a Russia/Ukraine conflict no matter how much rah-rah let's you and him fight we'll hold your coat for you, faux patriotism the lugenpresse throw at them. Those of us who volunteered for the US military in the past have learned our lesson.Petermx , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:46 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
Aug 10, 2020 Nord Stream 2 final stretch & Russia-Cyprus try to mend fences
Apr 4, 2019 NATO EXIT: Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
NATO is a criminal entity, an instrument of the Pentagon. There is no "Alliance". There is military Occupation.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/649_HXyJPAg?feature=oembedZarathustra , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:59 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
"The problem is Merkel and Macron don't control NATO." I don't know how a decision is made whether NATO will go to war or not but if Germany and France have no say in whether their soldiers will be sent to war or not, that must by a very scary thought for them.
I found the following analysis interesting and I think it makes sense. It suggests France and Germany have a say in matters and that they oppose any offensive Ukraine has in mind. The commentator analyzes the diplomatic language and Germany and France appear to be fed up. Without coming out and saying so directly, they see things more as Russia does than Ukraine. It's very unfortunate things have developed this way for Ukraine. In addition, if Merkel wants to be perceived as a complete failure as chancellor in Germany, only then will she let NS2 be stopped from being completed. This analysis suggests there may be some strain between France and Germany versus the USA.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/30Lzq-K-cO4?feature=oembedCarlton Meyer , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 5:04 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
I do have to disagree. If Ukraine start a war Russia must take back all eastern part of Ukraine that has prevalent Russian population. Odessa and Zaporozhie is particularly important. Russia must also tale all Kiev area back.Silicon Silence , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
Several things to note:
1. Senior Ukrainian officers were once Soviet officers. They, and most of their troops, don't want to fight Russians and know it's foolish. The Ukrainian army will crumble if they come in contact with regular Russian troops. It's not that they are cowards, but sane. It would be like Canadian troops ordered to attack across the American border.
2. The American empire is furious and concerned that its long-time puppet disobeyed orders. Germany wants Russian gas and the empire wants that pipeline stopped. Not only to hurt Russia, but to teach the Germans a lesson. If fighting occurs in the Ukraine, would the Germans dare to buy natgas from evil Russians?
3. Most importantly, Israel controls the American government. A major goal is the destruction of Syria to allow the expansion of Greater Israel, as explained in the video below. This nearly succeeded until the Russians intervened. Fighting in Ukraine would divert Russian military resources from Syria so that nation can be destroyed, or Russia may give up Syrian support as part of a grand peace deal.
The Biden administration is fully supportive of finishing off Syria and Lebanon, then moving on to destroy Iran. The new talks about Iran's nuclear program will go nowhere. It's just a show so Biden can say he tried.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/pEigig2qWkc?feature=oembed@anonMajority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:06 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
It makes all the difference when the revolving-door regulator-capture reframing is not "USA/Nato vs Russia" -- but rather the more accurate "Raytheon (et al) vs Russia."
The modern truth is: Russia and China have governments in control of policy and industry. The USA (and therefore also its yapping poodle collection) have Industry setting policy and running government for their 1%-er shareholder benefits.Vojkan , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
Part of me wants to think that the Ukies will want to fold at the last moment. Yet all this apparent evidence points to their going for it and promptly getting their collective noses smashed in. Those who speculate in meta-political geo-strategic analysis cannot make sense of the moves by the largely incompetent shot-callers and their even more incompetent minions who cut the orders to their chessmen.
Heavy pressure by the equally incompetent regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, where carrot and stick are equally in play, is as Escobar points out, the force behind this nearly automatic death-sentence for the Kiev regime and the poor slobs who make up the draftee elements in the Ukrainian military.
Again, geopolitically, one wonders at the deeper string-pullers within the Pentagram, the CIA and the mass media of mind-control and message-massaging. Is this essentially a move to keep the American people–most particularly the edjumacated managerial and technical classes who make up the core of the alleged "middle-class"–"on message and in line"?
Yes, the WarDefense industry (aka Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex") insist on ongoing wars and threats of war to maintain their profit margins for the prime owners of that false economic basis,prime actors such as the Rottenchild Crime Clan and the rest of the parasites clustered in City of London and Wall $treet.
How will the canny and ever wary Russians proceed? Will they operate in the manner that Escobar proposes, by not directly employing the considerable ground-forces which now stand on alert just to the eastwards of their mutually agreed upon Swiss-cheese border with the Novorussians in Donetsk and Luhansk? Or will Russian strategy be somewhat more comprehensive by liberating the rest of the primarily Russian-speaking parts of eastern and southern Ukraine which had largely backed the overthrown legitimate government of that bedizened composite nation and are still smarting under the heels of the Galician fascists and the smaller grouping of Russophobic Ukrainian nationalists who still harbor nightmares about the Bolshevik/Stalinoid Holodomar? There are, after all human considerations which may influence Kremlin policy.
Should Russia decide to make a move, it is my projection that they would never be likely to even attempt to occupy central Ukraine and would set a stop-line well to the east of Kiev. Something that bemusingly intrigues me is the Belarus factor. It would appear that the Minsk regime, smarting from the attempted coup by the Poles, Baltic states and Ukraine backing of "pro-Westerners, may be mobilizing to get into the action and perhaps readjust their boundaries somewhat southwards. This could indicate a countering move by the Uniates in Galicia to make common cause with their Roman Catholic brethren in the afore-mentioned Poland along with Lithuania and remove their lands of control from a shattered Ukraine and form a confederation with their neighbors to the west.
There is little doubt in my mind that Russia has numerous human assets in central and southwestern Ukraine, who along with elements of a disintegrating Ukie military, would unite to overthrow the rotten regime in Kiev and establish a markedly neutral smaller but more cohesive Ukraine–a natural though smaller nation which could serve as an essential buffer between a strengthening Russia and a collection of NATO nations which would then comprise a hodgepodge of hawks and doves, a discombobulated collection of politico-economic entities attempting to swim their ways to calmer shores or to maintain some semblance of "Great Reset" programming in the face of popular resistance to lockdowns and mandated AstraGenica jabbings.
Worst possible scenario is that someone in the Pentagon-dominated NATO command complex loses their cool and initiates a conflict that could result in planet-wide chaos and destruction. One would hope that cooler heads will take a few hits to their expansionist fantasies and decide to make the best of a failed bit of adventurism and bide their time -- if they feel they have any time remaining before globalist economies hit the skids, leading to a potential collapse to the myth of progress.Silicon Silence , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
Everyone gets American logic. It's the Ukrainian logic that is truly baffling. Just how stupid do the Ukrainians have to be to attack when anyone with a brain knows what will be the outcome?@anonGMC , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:37 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
It makes all the difference when the revolving-door regulator-capture reframing is not "USA/Nato vs Russia" -- but rather the more accurate "Raytheon (et al) vs Russia."
The modern truth is: Russia and China have governments in control of policy and industry. The USA (and therefore also its yapping poodle collection) have Industry setting policy and running government for their 1%-er shareholder benefits.Levtraro , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:50 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
You can't do any Normal business with a Crime Syndicate like the USA/ EU and or Israel. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others. Russia is so close to being self sufficient , they could turn their back on the West and it's cut throat allies , and just look to the East until the West implodes. They will have to destroy all armies within close proximity to their borders, including the Ukrainian/Mercenary one. Moscow must still have Jew Oligarchy baggage, that is making money on Wall Street and those ties need to break apart or come to a Pro Russian agreement or else. Rename Kyiv to Berlin 1944, and Lviv to Dresden and take it from there – and don't look back anymore. And PS : on way to Lviv, Agent Orange every F..n Monsanto/Bayer, Dupont and Cargil farm – like they did to Vietnam.Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT • 1.6 days ago
Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.
Yes but also the Ukraine needs to save those gas transit fees that will go kaput if NS2 is completed and operational, so it is the Ukraine the one with the most immediate incentive to start a war. Though they need just a small war, a little war to force the hands of the Germans to cancel NS2. Problem is the Russians have promised to give the Ukrainians more than what they bargained for. To save those gas transit fees the Ukrainians may end losing the country to a puppet installed by the Kremlin.Miro23 , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:13 am GMT • 1.5 days ago
Escobar, besides not naming the Jew, does not mention which side Israel is likely to support. We can be pretty certain that whichever side Israel supports is going to be the victor in this conflict. Turkey is also important because of the Bosphorus, and Turkey and Israel are working together to exploit the Leviathan gas field to the detriment of Cyprus and Syria, so Israel can jerk Turkey around like a pitbull on a chain.
The US has been moving drones into Ukraine and they now are right on the border with Crimea. The US Marines also have a large presence in Romania, also likely including all kinds of drones. The Israelis are among the planet's leaders in drone technology, and surely own even more patents. Israel provides much of its drone technology to Turkey, and the Azerbeijanis used Turkish and Israeli drones in their short war with Armenia. During this short war the Azerbeijanis shot up all kinds of Russian equipment with their drones including Pantsir's and ZSU-23's.
The US also has all kinds of stealth drones and missiles, likely that is one area where they lead the entire planet.The Alarmist , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:18 am GMT • 1.5 days ago
If this assessment is correct (in Russian but comes out OK in Google translate), then the US / NATO have to get involved to compensate for the lack of a Ukrainian air force – and in fact the rest of their obsolete equipment.
Personally, I can't imagine US or NATO troops on the ground in the Ukraine – and I don't see any planning for it, so what's the idea?
One possibility seems to be 1) to start the fighting 2) then start the real game, which is a massive anti-Russian media barrage "heroic Ukrainian patriots", "Russian atrocities", "killer Putin" etc. sufficient to finish with Nord Stream 2, divide Russia from France/Germany, plus reanimate NATO and sanction Russia. Basically to force Europe back into US hegemony, and away from independent decision making.
They won't have any problem with the UK (their most slavish follower) but at some point the French and Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.Garliv , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:34 am GMT • 1.5 days ago
[German Industrialists] are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon .
German Industrialists and financiers have been repeatedly shaken down by the hegemon for fines related to a number of "infractions." The scuttlebutt I've heard from a number of them is that it got old a long time ago; what point is it to participate in the US market when your profits are repeatedly clawed back as "fines," and those in the US with whom you compete are given a leg up not just in the US, but on the world stage. Left to most industrialists, Germany might have gone its own way years ago. Oddly enough, it is the Ossivergeltungswaffe who dithers over breaking ranks with the "ally" that openly spied on her.
And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin's judgment is correct: the Americans are "not agreement-capable." One just needs to look at the record.
The most recent example would be the Doha agreement on the US withdrawal of forces and personnel from Afghanistan. Apparently the Pentagon recently awarded a number of contracts for contractor services in that country for some time well past the "agreed" withdrawal date, strongly suggesting the agreement to leave was a ruse.@J. Alfred Powellstreet worm , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:59 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
Unfortunately we live in a world where history is/was erased, facts don't matter or they can be twisted to fit anything no matter how ridiculous, the present is what I say it is. Thus US and its vassals are just interested in their today's narrative.
Ukrainian leadership is hopelessly incompetent and corrupt so will do anything Biden's gang tells them. It's simply a depressing scenario.Marckus , says: April 8, 2021 at 1:23 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
Blinken poking the Ukies to attack is a Hail Mary to stop NS2. Maybe it will work, maybe not. But a few hundred or a few thousand dead Ukies is worth the Russian boogeyman psy-op for the empire.Reaper , says: April 8, 2021 at 1:56 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago
""Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of War blah blah""
Contrary to what Pepe asserts the rest of the world will not give a shit. Memories of Chechnya? The sooner Putin over runs the place the better. You can bet the Ukrainian ruling elite, for all their gumption, have their jets all fuelled and ready with flight plans for the US via Switzerland...Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: April 8, 2021 at 2:54 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
"NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia."
Sadly not so sure.
Some has it`s own agenda, like POland, Lithuania. Not even NATO/ US are in full control over that, and needs no more than a misstep. Like activate some system which is potentionally dangerous for Russia.
Or in different NATO/ US bases elsewhere in continental Europe.
"to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices"
"When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to "defend" it against – who else? – those pesky Russians."
This sounds to be the real goal.
For long since the US is jealous to Europe as it became more and more equal in economic and political power, and prevail better even with this "global pandemic".
EU wants more independence, US wants it`s colony to more obidient and follow commands.
If not just occupy, but "let" Europe partly destroyed even better: the treat of dominance reduced, and again can be the "nice savior" who helps and "brings democracy".
So seems far too real in the Ukrainian conflict Ukraine is just a side character.@VojkanRealist , says: April 8, 2021 at 2:59 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
Good point. They simply can't "win" anything by attacking.
The (((US))) will provide plenty of encouragement and support as long as they get mountains of Ukrainian corpses in return. Those corpses can then be photographed and the photos broadcast all over the world as "proof" that Putin is Hitler. Basically, Ukrainians are being funnelled into the meat grinder for a globohmo psyop opportunity. What a way to die...@Fred777MLK , says: April 8, 2021 at 3:01 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
The crumbling US economy will provide more than enough meat for the neocon's grinder.
Perhaps they will turn their attention to problems at home. The question is are they smart enough to recognize where the problem lies.@Robert Bruce
Are you referring to the Ukraine fiasco? Would that it were so that it was just a distraction. Just apply some reverse engineering to how Germany and Russia have a pretext to link up energy-wise when Ukraine was a perfectly serviceable transit point until NeoCon filth started working their magic.
Apr 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Indeed, let's not worry: German Chancellor Merkel spoke to President Putin yesterday and apparently told him she wanted to see immediate de-escalation or else she might not sell Russia any German cars; or buy Russian vaccine; or complete Nord-Stream 2 and tie the German economy into Russian gas supplies. Isn't realpolitik a German word originally?
"Destiny guides our fortunes more favourably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."
"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.
"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."
"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."
"Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures."
Or labour vs. capital; or realpolitik. But Happy Friday!
GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour agoUSAllDay 56 minutes ago
No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.GreatCaesar'sGhost 53 minutes ago
Germans need the gas and Russia needs the revenue. These are facts that can not change.BeePee 43 minutes ago
US has gas to sell. Greater Israel and their Saudi partners believe that after they overthrow Assad they will have gas to sell. I'm not sure the constantly virtue signaling German government will buy Russian gas if there's a war.GreatCaesar'sGhost 53 minutes ago
Russia already sells gas. This will continue. Mistake to destablize Russia's economy.land_of_the_few 51 minutes ago (Edited) remove link
US has gas to sell. Greater Israel and their Saudi partners believe that after they overthrow Assad they will have gas to sell.
I'm not sure the constantly virtue signaling German government will buy Russian gas if there's a war.land_of_the_few 40 minutes ago
They should just mock them mercilessly.
Formation flypasts with rainbow colored smoke, Village People blasting from frigates buzxing them, that kind of thing.
"In the Navy", anyone?
Apr 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com
LIKBEZ 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm
> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.
This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.
If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).
While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.
There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.
The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.
That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.
IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)
IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).
Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am
Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂
https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/070/421/209/original/be1c4bc547657d60.jpeg REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm
> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.
This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.
If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).
While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.
There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.
The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.
That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.
IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)
IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).
Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am
Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂
https://media.gab.com/system/media_attachments/files/070/421/209/original/be1c4bc547657d60.jpeg REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm
I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.
04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm
I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.
Apr 07, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Norwegian , Apr 5 2021 17:12 utc | 30
Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate
Apr 04, 2021 | oilprice.com
Originally from: Russia Is Being Left Behind In The Energy Transition By Haley Zaremba
When it comes to climate change and the need to update and innovate in the face of changing weather patterns, Russian President Vladmir Putin's strategy is simple: deny, deny, deny. While other fossil-fuel dependent economies scramble to diversify or race to build up clean energy infrastructure in a bid to put themselves at the forefront of the coming renewable revolution, Russia has taken the opposite approach: the world's largest nation is sitting tight and waiting to be the last man standing in a shrinking fossil fuels market. While Russia, with its massive land area and enviable geopolitical positioning, is extremely resource-rich, its oil is more costly to extract than other oil superpowers. Nevertheless, Putin is trying to outlast them all as they are forced to transition away from the oil due to falling prices and political pressure. The world is still decades away from weaning itself off fossil fuels and there will potentially be even more money to be made as the competition begins to fall away. The calculation Russia needs to make is when will its oil industry move from being a profit driver to a burden as demand plateaus and then falls.
While the potential for profit is undeniably in oil markets, when it comes to the clean energy transition, Russia is being left behind . They are being left behind in terms of infrastructure, innovation, and a dogmatic attachment to business as usual. "Putin and other Russian leaders have periodically flirted with outright climate change denial," Bloomberg reports. "Scientists have estimated that melting permafrost could cost Russia $84 billion in infrastructure damage by mid-century while releasing vast quantities of greenhouse gases. Carbon Action Tracker, a non-profit, gives Russia's climate policies a bottom grade of 'critically insufficient.'"
While Russia will soon be feeling the pain from the side effects of climate change, there will also be a silver lining to all that northern ice-melt for the world's largest country. The receding ice caps will unveil a veritable treasure trove of oil, gas, and minerals never before accessible - not to mention an extremely valuable set of new sea lanes to ease access for trade. The tradeoffs for this new natural capital, however, are so costly in terms of devastating ecological externalities that almost all of the world's biggest banks won't touch it .
Related: Recent SEC Decision Could Spark Investment In Big Oil
In the meantime, Russia has doubled down on natural gas. "In recent years, the Kremlin has bet the country's economic and geopolitical future on natural gas," Bloomberg reports, "building new pipelines to China, Turkey, and Germany, while aiming to take a quarter of the global LNG market, up from zero in 2008 and around 8% today." Within the vast expanses of Russia, where entire regions are reliant on fossil fuel for their entire economy, the prevailing belief is that natural gas is the future, and will always be cheaper domestically than renewable alternatives. "What's the alternative? Russia can't be an exporter of clean energy, that path isn't open for us," Konstantin Simonov, director of the Moscow consultancy National Energy Security Fund, told Bloomberg. "We can't just swap fossil fuel production for clean energy production, because we don't have any technology of our own."
While renewable energy is still an emerging sector, with plenty of potential opportunities for Russia to stake its claim in the global clean energy game, it's clear that the Kremlin has a long way to go in terms of ideological politicking for that to become possible.
By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com
Apr 04, 2021 | www.amazon.com
An interesting undergraduate thesis from Munich put together a list of the adjectives and adverbs used in select articles about Obama (USA) and Putin (Russia) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung between 2000 and 2012.
The words selected were ones that implied a value judgement in their description of Obama or Putin. The adjectives used in the FAZ to describe Putin had overwhelmingly negative connotations, including: threatening, rough, aggressive, confrontational, anti-westem, power-political, untruthful, cool, calculated, cynical, harsh, abrasive, non-substantive (arguments) and implausible (arguments).
The words used to describe Obama had a completely different tone: committed, fanatically welcomed, enthusiastic, conciliatory, praised, hopeful and resolute :' In plain language: The reporting in the once renowned FAZ newspaper is definitely not neutral, independent, unbiased nor objective these days. So where is this bias coming from? Does this style of reporting possibly have anything to do with the closeness that the FAZ's writers have to certain elites and powerful circles? In the following chapters, we won't only be considering the FAZ when it comes to this question. We will also look into why the mainstream media doesn't even want you to imply that they're close to the elite.
Chapter one, scene two: A few years ago, the reporter Thomas Leif painted a rather conspiratorial picture in the ARD television documentary Strippenzieher und Hinterzimmer (Puppet Masters and Back Rooms). In it, journalists, ministers and party officials appeared to all be sitting in the same boat, isolated from the common folk and getting along like gangbustcrs. Viewers got to see how politics is made in secret meetings behind the scenes. The film was about a corrupt world of cozy connections.4 What was being shown, however, wasn't a conspiracy theory.
The film was controversial, because die people being shown in it were the perpetrators. They thought that this form of corruption was completely normal. The journalists portrayed in the documentary took it as an affront when they were simply asked about these secret networks operating in the background.
... ... ...
The manipulation of the readers has been noticeable at the FAZ for many years. Dr. Heinz Loquai gave a famous speech in 2003 where he said the following about the FAZ:
We learn from the FAZ's Washington correspondents that, among other things, Bush studies the bible every day, prays regularly and bases his actions on the question, "What would Jesus do?" The president is a "paragon of modesty and close to his people." There may be "an arrogant bone or two in Bush's body," but he is "a man of love." His "portion of missionary fervor" is "softened by statesmanlike prudence," through "patient waiting," the "natural political talent's decision" has been "expressed." Although Bush may know that he is not an intellectual, he can rely on "his political instinct, his wisdom and his natural wit."
So (...) lectured, we can continue to count on the judgement and objectivity of leading German daily and weekly newspapers' America correspondents! Embedded with the allied troops, embedded in the political-media network in Washington - what's the difference? 16
The former FAZ Washington correspondent Matthias Rub wrote the adulation to US President Bush cited above shortly before the Iraq War began in 2003, in violation of international law. One year later he received the Arthur F. Bums Award for a different article. The Arthur F. Bums Award is presented by Germany's Foreign Minister. So, who selects the winners today? The jury includes, for example, the journalists Sabine Christiansen and Stefan Kornclius (Sflddeutsche Zeitung).17 Keep these names in the mind. We will come across them and their interesting connections quite often.
Apr 03, 2021 | www.unz.comAnon  Disclaimer , says: April 1, 2021 at 3:19 am GMT • 2.7 days ago
ugghhhh the propaganda channel – thesaker – continues unabated
"Putin single-handedly "resurrected" Russia in an amazingly short time"
just LOL @ single-handedly
" Putin turned Russia into the strongest military power on the planet and he completely reshaped the Russian perception of themselves and of Russia"
strongest? zvezda channel posting youtube videos doesn't make you the strongest military power
completely reshaped? so much that still all the young Russians want to emigrate
"the country which created the best vaccine on the planet "
the best vaccine? only 4% of Russians got vaccinated, that's 6 million out of 144 millions
so much about Russians trusting Putin, LOL
-- -- -
Andrei Raevsky, do you even re-read what BS you write?!
you aren't fooling anyone but a handful of braindead followers you got there on your blog
in the real world – no one gives a shyt about Putin
the West doesn't hate Putin, they just want to loot Russia or get a cut from the loot of Russia.
Russian oligarchs want to loot Russia for themselves without giving a cut/tribute to Western oligarchs.
Putin is a non-issue, a nobody, he just follows orders of the Russian oligarchs.
But there is a real hate @ Putin – that because he is a fake, only a carefully prepared media
image. And you Andrei Raevsky are part of that propaganda effort. Putin is no savior, Putin
is not working for the betterment of Russians or humanity as a whole. He is just a facade for
Russian oligarchs. And that is what we hate . And the more you and the likes of you push
that fake image of Putin, the more the pushback and hate from us.
So go on – continue.
I was a believer in Putin. Then I saw the light. Now I would have no quarrel putting a bullet in
Putin's head. Analyze this!
Apr 03, 2021 | www.unz.com
... ... ...
In truth, the West has a very long list of reasons for which to hate Putin and everything Russian, but I believe that there is one reason which trumps them all: the western leaders sincerely believed that they had defeated the USSR in the Cold War (even medals were made to commemorate this event) and following the collapse of the former superpower and the coming to power of a clueless, alcoholic puppet, the triumph of the West was total. At least in appearance. The reality, as always, was much more complicated.
The causes and mechanisms of the collapse of the Soviet Union are not our topic today, so I will just indicate that I believe that the USSR never "collapsed" but that it was deliberately destroyed by the CPSU apparatus which decided to break up the country in order for the Party and Nomenklatura to remain in power, not at the helm of the USSR, but at the helm of the various ex-Soviet republics. Weak leaders and ideologies which nobody really believes in do not inspire people to fight for their rulers. This is why the Russian monarchy collapsed, this is why the masonic democracy of Kerenskii collapsed and this is why the Soviet Union collapsed (this is also one of the most likely reasons for the final collapse of the US as a state).
Putin, who was not very well known in the West or, for that matter, in Russia, came to power and immediately reversed Russia's course towards the abyss. First, he dealt with the two most urgent threats, the oligarchs and the Wahabi insurrection in the Caucasus. Many Russians, including myself, were absolutely amazed at the speed and determination of his actions. As a result, Putin suddenly found himself one of the most popular leaders in Russian history. Initially, the West went into a kind of shock, then through a process reminiscent of the so-called " Kübler-Ross model " and, finally, the West settled into a russophobic frenzy not seen since the Nazi regime in Germany during WWII.
To understand why Putin is the Devil incarnate, we have to understand that the leaders of the collective West really thought that this time around, after a millennium of failures and embarrassing defeats , the West has finally "defeated" Russia which would now become a leaderless, culture-less, spiritual-less and, of course, history-less territory whose sole purpose would be to provide resources for the "Triumphant West". Not only that, but the AngloZionist leaders of the Empire executed the 9/11 false flag operation which gave them the pretext needed for the GWOT, but which completely distracted the West from its previous focus on the so-called "Russian threat" simply because by 2001 there was no Russian threat. So there was a certain logic behind these moves. And then, "suddenly" (at least for western leaders) Russia was "back": in 2013 Russia stopped the planned US/NATO attack on Syria (the pretext here was Syrian chemical weapons). In 2014 Russia gave her support to the Novorussian uprising against the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and, in the same year, Russia also used her military to make it possible for the local population to vote on a referendum to join Russia . Finally, in 2015, Russia stunned the West with an extremely effective military intervention in Syria .
In this sequence, Russia committed two very different types of "crimes" (from the AngloZionist point of view, of course):The minor crime of doing what Russia actually did and The much bigger crime of never asking the Empire for the permission to do so
The West likes to treat the rest of the planet like some kind of junior partner, with very limited autonomy and almost no real agency (the best example is what the USA did to countries like Poland or Bulgaria). If and when any such "junior" country wants to do something in its foreign policy, it absolutely has to ask for permission from its AngloZionist Big Brother. Not doing so is something akin to sedition and revolt. In the past, many countries were "punished" for daring to have an opinion or, even more so, for daring to act on it.
It would not be inaccurate to summarize it all by saying that Putin flipped his finger to the Empire and its leaders. That "crime of crimes" was what really triggered the current anti-Russian hysteria. Soon, however, the (mostly clueless) leaders of the Empire ran into an extremely frustrating problem: while the russophobic hysteria did get a lot of traction in the West, in Russia it created a very powerful blowback because of a typical Putin "judo" move: far from trying to suppress the anti-Russian propaganda of the West, the Kremlin used its power to make it widely available (in Russian!) through the Russian media (I wrote about this in some detail here and here ). The direct result of this was two fold: first, the CIA/MI6 run "opposition" began to be strongly associated with the russophobic enemies of Russia and, second, the Russian general public further rallied around Putin and his unyielding stance. In other words, calling Putin a dictator and, of course, a "new Hitler", the western PSYOPs gained some limited advantage in the western public opinion, but totally shot itself in the leg with the Russian public.
I refer to this stage as the " phase one anti-Putin strategic PSYOP ". As for the outcome of this PSYOP, I would not only say that it almost completely failed, but I think that it had the exact opposite intended effect inside Russia.
A change of course was urgently needed.
The redirection of US PSYOPs against Putin and Russia
I have to admit that I have a very low opinion of the US intelligence community, including its analysts. But even the rather dull US "Russia area specialist" eventually figured out that telling the Russian public opinion that Putin was a "dictator" or a "killer of dissidents" or a "chemical poisoner of exiles" resulted in a typically Russian mix of laughter and support for the Kremlin. Something had to be done.
So some smart ass somewhere in some basement came up with the following idea: it makes no sense to accuse Putin of things which make him popular at home, so let's come up with a new list of accusations carefully tailored to the Russian public.
Let's call this a " phase two anti-Putin PSYOP operation ".
And this is how the "Putin is in cahoots with" thing began. Specifically, these accusations were deployed by the US PSYOPs and those in its pay:Putin is disarming Syria Putin will sell out the Donbass Putin is a puppet of Israel and, specifically, Netanyahu Putin is a corrupt traitor to the Russian national interests Putin is allowing Israel to bomb Syria (see here ) Putin is selling the Siberian riches to China and/or Putin is subjugating Russia to China Putin is corrupt, weak and even cowardly Putin was defeated by Erdogan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war
The above are the main talking points immediately endorsed and executed by the US strategic PSYOPs against Russia.
Was it effective?
Yes, to some degree. For one thing, these "anti-Russian PSYOPS reloaded" were immediately picked up by at least part of what one could call the "internal patriotic opposition" (much of it very sincerely and without any awareness of being skillfully manipulated). Even more toxic was the emergence of a rather loud neo-Communist (or, as Ruslan Ostashko often calls them "emo-Marxist") movement (I personally refer to as a sixth column ) which began an internal anti-Kremlin propaganda campaign centered on the following themes:"All is lost" ( всепропальщики ): that is thesis which says that nothing in Russia is right, everything is either wrong or evil, the country is collapsing, so is its economy, its science, its military, etc. etc. etc. This is just a garden variety of defeatism, nothing more. "Nothing was achieved since Putin came to power": this is a weird one, since it takes an absolutely spectacular amount of mental gymnastics to not see that Putin literally saved Russia from total destruction. This stance also completely fails to explain why Putin is so hated by the Empire (if Putin did everything wrong, like, say Eltsin did, he would be adored in the West, not hated!). All the elections in Russia were stolen. Here the 5th (CIA/MI6 run) column and 6th column have to agree: according to both of them, there is absolutely no way most Russians supported Putin for so many years and there is no way they support him now. And nevermind the fact that the vast majority of polls show that Putin was, and still is, the most popular political figure in Russia.
Finally, the big SNAFU with the pension reform definitely did not help Putin's ratings, so he had to take action: he "softened" some of the worst provisions of this reform and, eventually, he successfully sidelined some of the worst Atlantic Integrationists, including Medvedev himself.
Sadly, some putatively pro-Russian websites, blogs and individuals showed their true face when they jumped on the bandwagon of this 2nd strategic PSYOP campaign, probably with the hope to either become more noticed, or get some funding, or both. Hence, all the nonsense about Russia and Israel working together or Putin "selling out" we have seen so many times recently. The worst thing here is that these websites, blogs and individuals have seriously misled and distressed some of the best real friends of Russia in the West.
None of these guys ever address a very simple question: if Putin is such a sellout, and if all is lost, why does the AngloZionist Empire hate Putin so much? In almost 1000 years of warfare (spiritual, cultural, political, economic and military) against Russia, the leaders of the West have always hated real Russian patriots and they have always loved the (alas, many) traitors to Russia. And now, they hate Putin because he is such a terrible leader?
This makes absolutely no sense.
Conclusion: is a war inevitable now?
The US/NATO don't engage in strategic PYSOPs just because they like or dislike somebody. The main purpose of such PSYOPs is to break the other side's will to resist . This was also the main objective of both (phase one and phase two) anti-Putin PSYOPs. I am happy to report that both phases of these PYSOPs failed. The danger here is that these failures have failed to convince the leaders of the Empire of the need to urgently change course and accept the "Russian reality", even if they don't like it.
Ever since "Biden" (the "collective Biden", of course, not the potted plant) Administration (illegally) seized power, what we saw was a sharp escalation of anti-Russian statements. Hence, the latest " uhu, he is a killer " -- this was no mistake by a senile mind, this was a carefully prepared declaration. Even worse, the Empire has not limited itself to just words, it also did some important "body moves" to signal its determination to seek even further confrontation with Russia:There has been a lot of sabre-rattling coming from the West, mostly some rather ill-advsied (or even outright stupid) military maneuvers near/along the Russian border. As I have explained it a billion times, these maneuvers are self-defeating from a military point of view (the closer to the Russian border, the more dangerous for the western military force). Politically, however, they are extremely provocative and, therefore, dangerous. The vast majority of Russian analysts do not believe that the US/NATO will openly attack Russia, if only because that would be suicidal (the current military balance in Europe is strongly in Russia's favor, even without using hypersonic weapons). What many of them now fear is that "Biden" will unleash the Ukronazi forces against the Donbass, thereby "punishing" both the Ukraine and Russia (the former for its role in the US presidential campaign). I tend to agree with both of these statements.
At the end of the day, the AngloZionist Empire was always racist at its core, and that empire is still racist : for its leaders, the Ukrainian people are just cannon fodder, an irrelevant third rate nation with no agency which has outlived its utility (US analysts do understand that the US plan for the Ukraine has ended in yet another spectacular faceplant such delusional plans always end up with, even if they don't say so publicly). So why not launch these people into a suicidal war against not only the LDNR but also Russia herself? Sure, Russia will quickly and decisively win the military war, but politically it will be a PR disaster for Russia as the "democratic West" will always blame Russia, even when she clearly did not attack first (as was the case in 08.08.08, most recently).
I have already written about the absolutely disastrous situation of the Ukraine three weeks ago so I won't repeat it all here, I will just say that since that day things have gotten even much worse: suffice to say that the Ukraine has moved a lot of heavy armor to the line of contact while the regime in Kiev has now banned the import of Russian toilet paper (which tells you what the ruling gang thinks of as important and much needed measures). While it is true that the Ukraine has become a totally failed state since the Neo-Nazi coup, there is now a clear acceleration of the collapse of not only the regime or state, but of the country as a whole. Ukraine is falling apart so fast that one could start an entire website tracking only all this developing horror, not day by day, but, hour by hour. Suffice to say that "Ze" has turned out to be even worse than Poroshenko. The only thing Poroshenko did which "Ze" has not (yet!) is to start a war. Other than that, the rest of what he did (by action or inaction) can only be qualified as "more of the same, only worse".
Can a war be prevented?
I don't know. Putin gave the Ukronazis a very stern warning (" grave consequences for Ukraine's statehood as such "). I don't believe for one second that anybody in power in Kiev gives a damn about the Ukraine or the Ukrainian statehood, but they are smart enough to realize that a Russian counter-attack in defense of the LDNR and, even more so, Crimea, might include precision "counter-leadership" strikes with advanced missiles. The Ukronazi leaders would be well-advised to realize that they all have a crosshair painted on their heads. They might also think about this: what happened to every single Wahabi gang leader in Chechnya since the end of the 2nd Chechen war? (hint: they were all found and executed). Will that be enough to stop them?
Maybe. Let's hope so.
But we must now keep in mind that for the foreseeable future there are only two options left for the Ukraine: " a horrible ending or a horror without end " (Russian expression).The best scenario for the people of the Ukraine would be a (hopefully relatively peaceful) breakup of the country into manageable parts . The worst option would definitely be a full-scale war against Russia.
Judging by the rhetoric coming out of Kiev these days, most Ukrainian politicians are firmly behind option #2, especially since that is also the only option acceptable to their overseas masters. The Ukrainians have also adopted a new military doctrine (they call it a "military security strategy of Ukraine") which declares Russia the aggressor state and military adversary of the Ukraine (see here for a machine translation of the official text).
This might be the reason why Merkel and Macron recently had a videoconference with Putin ("Ze" was not invited): Putin might be trying to convince Merkel and Macron that such a war would be a disaster for Europe. In the meantime, Russia is rapidly reinforcing her forces along the Ukrainian border, including in Crimea.
But all these measures can only deter a regime which has no agency. The outcome shall be decided in Washington DC, not Kiev. I am afraid that the traditional sense of total impunity of US political leaders will, once again, give them a sense of very little risk (for them personally or for the USA) in triggering a war in the Ukraine. The latest news on the US-Ukrainian front is the delivery by the USN of 350 tonnes of military equipment in Odessa. Not enough to be militarily significant, but more than enough to further egg on the regime in Kiev to an attack on the Donbass and/or Crimea.
In fact, I would not even put it past "Biden" to launch an attack on Iran while the world watches the Ukraine and Russia go to war. After all, the other country whose geostrategic position has been severely degraded since Russia moved her forces to Syria is Israel, the one country which all US politicians will serve faithfully and irrespective of any costs (including human costs for the USA). The Israelis have been demanding a war on Iran since at least 2007, and it would be very naive to hope that they won't eventually get their way. Last, but not least, there is the crisis which Blinken's condescending chutzpah triggered with China which, so far, has resulted in an economic war only, but which might also escalate at any moment, especially considering all the many recent anti-Chinese provocations by the US Navy.
Right now the weather in the eastern Ukraine is not conducive to offensive military operations. The snow is still melting, creating very difficult and muddy road conditions (called " rasputitsa " in Russian) which greatly inhibit the movement of forces and troops. These conditions will, however, change with the warmer season coming, at which point the Ukronazi forces will be ideally poised for an attack.
In other words, barring some major development, we might be only weeks away from a major war.
macilrae , says: April 1, 2021 at 12:29 am GMT • 2.8 days agoBiff , says: April 1, 2021 at 1:04 am GMT • 2.8 days ago
We must not forget President Putin's outrageous opinion piece in the New York Times of September 11th 2013: delivered at the same time as he had the impertinence to propose the voluntary relinquishment of all chemical weapons by Syria -- thwarting the traditional wholesale bombing campaign that the "Allies" were working up to. This was an unforgivable affront to the USA -- and to Obama in particular; who had only just invoked his "red line". It made him look ridiculous -- and a man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous.
This behaviour by Mr. Putin has never been forgotten or forgiven and it will be quite a while before the New York Times prints another oped by him.Mulegino1 , says: April 1, 2021 at 1:37 am GMT • 2.7 days ago
Russia was "back": in 2013 Russia stopped the planned US/NATO attack on Syria (the pretext here was Syrian chemical weapons). In 2014 Russia gave her support to the Novorussian uprising against the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and, in the same year, Russia also used her military to make it possible for the local population to vote on a referendum to join Russia. Finally, in 2015, Russia stunned the West with an extremely effective military intervention in Syria.
Don't forget what Russia did the Georgia's American trained and supplied military in 2009.@macilraeFiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website April 1, 2021 at 2:48 am GMT • 2.7 days ago
This was an unforgivable affront to the USA -- and to Obama in particular; who had only just invoked his "red line". It made him look ridiculous -- and a man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous.
To deal with contemporary western elites is, to a great extent, to deal with Satan himself. The devil- and presumably, his minions- does not mind confrontation or opposition anywhere as much as he hates being the object of derision.
"The devil the prowde spirite cannot endure to be mocked." -- St. Thomas MoreGreg S. , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:22 am GMT • 2.6 days ago
"why does the AngloZionist Empire hate Putin so much?"
I have an explanation, but that would tend to get me labelled a "sixth columnist".
It is obvious to anyone who does not believe that Putin is the Saviour Of Russia, but just a neoliberal politician who is moderately better than Yeltsin, and whose real alternatives, not Quislings like Navalny but real alternatives, are all far more nationalist and not beholden to international capital than he is. Since the 90s are now over, and the attempt to destroy Russia has failed, how does one ensure that the country does not become even stronger and, crucially, more assertive?
One possible answer is interesting: keep demonising the man in power, *even though you know that demonising him hardens support behind him*. Especially since it hardens support behind him. As long as you keep attacking him, the Russian people support him more, making it less likely for someone who would be more nationalist and less neoliberal to take charge.
Simple enough.anon  Disclaimer , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:43 am GMT • 2.6 days ago
I've come to think that the whole "Putin the Devil" thing is pushed so hard by the corporate-communist-left (aside: I do struggle these days with what to call them) mostly as a distraction. "Hey! Look over there! A BAD MAN!" (and pay no mind to what I'm doing over here, flooding the country with replacements, thrashing the constitution, coming up with vaccine passports and enabling a totalitarian technocracy).
In fact, it's a necessary hallmark of ALL totalitarian leftist regimes to have a huge "outside enemy" who threatens the very existence of the state and is used to distract from domestic troubles. Try to find a single totalitarian state without one.
So the U.S. has everything to gain and little to lose (Biden gov thinks anyways) by goading Ukraine into "taking back Crimea." The U.S. is committed to fight that war down the very last Ukrainian.SafeNow , says: April 1, 2021 at 5:47 am GMT • 2.6 days ago
Slightly old news from 10 days ago.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced this week that the country's National Security and Defense Council had approved a strategy that is aimed at retaking Crimea and reintegrating the strategically important peninsula.
What could possibly go wrong?
Christopher Caldwell delivered what I thought was a good assessment of Putin in 2017, and this excellent piece by The Saker complements and updates it for me. I think Putin is even more reviled than ever by the U.S. Dems, because Putin = a national-sovereignty proponent = Trump.
I play online chess -- speedy games, and so I have a lot of experience with players from Russia and Ukraine. They tend to favor what chess players call "quiet moves." Is this a manner of thought, a philosophy, that can be extrapolated to government? (U.S. players, by contrast, tend to be more impetuous and impulsive in their chess style.)
The Caldwell essay:
Apr 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Nord Stream 2 Warns Of Security Risks From Warships & Low-Flying Planes BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, APR 03, 2021 - 09:20 AM
Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,
A senior official from Nord Stream 2 AG, the project company leading the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline project, has reported an uptick in "provocative" activity from warships and planes in the area where the pipeline is being built .
"Higher activity of naval vessels, airplanes and helicopters and civilian vessels of foreign states is observed in the work area after restarted construction of the offshore segment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, whose actions are often clearly provocative ," said Nord Stream AG official Andrei Minin, according to the Russian news agency TASS .
Above: the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna, which is operated by the Russian company KVT-RUS and recently targeted by US sanctions. Image via Reuters
Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. "Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work," he said.
He added that a Polish antisubmarine warfare airplane is "regularly flying around the work area at a small height and closely to the pipelay vessel."
Minin said in one provocation, an unidentified submarine was above surface within one mile of the pipeclay vessel Fortuna , a ship that was hit with US sanctions on January 19th. Minin said the activity indicates "obviously planned and prepared provocations." Besides warships and planes, he said fishing vessels have also come dangerously close to the construction area.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been in the crosshairs of the US for years, but despite sanctions and threats, Nord Stream AG reported on Thursday that the project is now 95 percent complete . Construction restarted in December 2020 after being suspended due to threats of US sanctions.
Although it's not clear if the US is involved in these provocations, it is likely. Washington seems willing to take extreme measures to stop the project and is threatening to sanction its ally Germany . Besides the US, another country keen to stop the project is Ukraine, which stands to lose up to $3 billion a year in gas transportation fees if the pipeline is complete.
The original Nord Stream consists of two lines that run from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin, Germany, near Greifswald. The new project would add two more lines, doubling the amount of natural gas Russia could export to Germany.
Be of Good Cheer 1 hour agoNoPension 1 hour ago
$3 billion loss to the Biden Crime Family. No wonder he wants to stop NS2.Pair Of Dimes Shift 45 minutes ago
^^^^^!!!Rid'n Dirty 1 hour ago
10% to the big guy would be $300M.
Damn right the big guy's handlers are pissed.Based Fren 1 hour ago
The US spends over $1 trillion on "defense" with over 800 bases worldwide, yet we have no control over who illegally takes up residence here. America has become an ugly hegemon run by Wall Street and other corporate whores. Almost 2/3rds of the world is under some type of US sanction designed to wreck economies and starve innocent people (Houthis, Syrians and Iranians).
Let's see if Germany can do what's best for its economy for the first time since 1945.naro 1 hour ago
It's so tiresome. We just have to stick our finger in everyone else's business.ManOnFirst 59 minutes ago
Have you heard of the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. Wars is their oxygen.....they are looking for wars wherever they can find it.SoDamnMad 27 minutes ago
a Polish fishing vessel rammed a construction ship and blamed a faulty engine for the incident. I really hate the Poles. They are the whiniest, most cowardly country in the world. They lament the fall of their empire 1000 years ago and think they could still be a superpower if only the big, bad Russians weren't so mean. Oh, and the big, bad Germans too.Games Without Frontiers 1 hour ago (Edited)
I'm surprised the Russians didn't throw a 3 liter gasoline jug with a burning rag taped to it down on that fishing vessel. Your telling me no steerage and no engine control. Two can play this game. Poles best not try to lay any communication cables in the next 20 years.2banana 1 hour ago
Globalists from the US doing everything they can to prevent a more independent EU. The further away you can get from a dying and dangerous empire the better.Games Without Frontiers 1 hour ago
Established by whom?
Oh, you just made that sh!t up in international waters in one of the most heavily used trade routes in the world.
Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. "Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work," he said.not-me---it-was-the-dog 43 minutes ago (Edited) remove link
It's international waters but safety zones are always established on this type of industrial project, it's hard to enforce in open waters but the West looks like a bunch of tools as usual.Jerzeel 17 minutes ago remove link
google is your friend, my friend.
.... Shipping and shipping lanes In Danish waters, the proposed NSP2 route will run inside and along the TSS Bornholmsgat for approximately 42 km close to the Swedish EEZ. The TSS Bornholmsgat carries most of the ship traffic to/from the Baltic Sea and experiences over 50,000 ship passages per year. The proposed NSP2 route additionally crosses the TSS Adlergrund in the Danish and German EEZs, which has approximately 7,000 ship movements per year. Safety exclusion zones will be implemented around slow-moving construction vessels. Only vessels involved in the construction of NSP2 will be allowed inside the safety zone; therefore, all other vessels not involved in construction activities will be requested to plan their journeys around the safety zone. The shipping lanes crossed by the proposed NSP2 route in Danish waters provide sufficient space and water depth for ships to plan their journey and safely navigate around possible temporary obstructions. The impact on ship traffic associated with the imposition of a safety zone is assessed to be minor and associated with local and temporary changes to the traffic scheme. Therefore, it is assessed that there will be no significant transboundary impacts on Baltic Sea ship traffic caused by the NSP2 project in Danish waters.
so....umm....since the work is being done in danish waters, well, gosh, i would guess the exclusion zones are set up with......wait for it......danish authorities. and the last bits in german waters will require german authorities to set up the exclusion zone.
rejectnumbskull 15 minutes ago
Ukraine gets 3B a year in transit fees for Russian gas...
Besides the US, another country keen to stop the project is Ukraine, which stands to lose up to $3 billion a year in gas transportation fees if the pipeline is complete.
Did you not read this sentence in the article correctly?
Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Patroklos , Apr 1 2021 20:35 utc | 26
The World Health Organization recently published its report on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has caused the Covid-19 pandemic. Most scientist agree that the virus is of zoonotic origin and not a human construct or an accidental laboratory escape. But the U.S. wants to put pressure on China and advised the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, to keep the focus on China potential culpability. He acted accordingly when he remarked on his agency's report:Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.
The U.S. State Department fetched the pass and ran with it. It asked its allies to sign on to its Joint Statement on the WHO-Convened COVID-19 Origins Study which requests more unhindered access in China:The Governments of Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America remain steadfast in our commitment to working with the World Health Organization (WHO), international experts who have a vital mission, and the global community to understand the origins of this pandemic in order to improve our collective global health security and response. Together, we support a transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns regarding the recent WHO-convened study in China, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of working together toward the development and use of a swift, effective, transparent, science-based, and independent process for international evaluations of such outbreaks of unknown origin in the future.
The most interesting with the above statement is the list of U.S. allied countries which declined to support it,
Most core EU countries, especially France, Spain, Italy and Germany, are missing from it. As is the Five-Eyes member New Zealand. India, a U.S. ally in the anti-Chinese Quad initiative, also did not sign. This list of signatories of the Joint Statement is an astonishingly meager result for a U.S. 'joint' initiative. It is unprecedented. It is a sign that something has cracked and that the world will never be the same.
The first months of he Biden administration saw a rupture in the global system. First Russia admonished the EU for its hypocritical criticism of internal Russian issues. Biden followed up by calling Putin a 'killer'. Then the Chinese foreign minister told the Biden administration to shut the fuck up about internal Chinese issues. Soon thereafter Russia's and China's foreign ministers met and agreed to deepen their alliance and to shun the U.S. dollar. Then China's foreign minister went on a wider Middle East tour. There he reminded U.S. allies of their sovereignty :Wang said that expected goals had been achieved with regard to a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East, which was proposed during the visit.
"China supports countries in the region to stay impervious to external pressure and interference, to independently explore development paths suited to its regional realities ," Wang said, adding that the countries should " break free from the shadows of big-power geopolitical rivalry and resolve regional conflicts and differences as masters of the region ."
Wang's tour was topped off with the signing of a game changing agreement with Iran:Suffice to say, the China-Iran pact deeply is embedded within a new matrix Beijing hopes to create with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Iran. The pact forms part of a new narrative on regional security and stability.
The "U.S. led rules based international order" is finally finished . Russia and China buried it :Countries in Asia and further afield are closely watching the development of this alternative international order, led by Moscow and Beijing. And they can also recognise the signs of increasing US economic and political decline.
It is a new kind of Cold War, but not one based on ideology like the first incarnation. It is a war for international legitimacy, a struggle for hearts and minds and money in the very large part of the world not aligned to the US or NATO.
The US and its allies will continue to operate under their narrative, while Russia and China will push their competing narrative. This was made crystal clear over these past few dramatic days of major power diplomacy.
The global balance of power is shifting, and for many nations, the smart money might be on Russia and China now.
The obvious U.S. countermove to the Russian-Chinese initiative is to unite its allies in a new Cold War against Russia and China. But as the Joint Statement above shows most of those allies do not want to follow that path. China is a too good customer to be shunned. Talk of human rights in other countries might play well with the local electorate but what counts in the end is the business.
Even some U.S. companies can see that the hostile path the Biden administration has followed will only be to their detriment. Some are asking the Biden gang to tone it down :[Boeing] Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told an online business forum he believed a major aircraft subsidy dispute with Europe could be resolved after 16 years of wrangling at the World Trade Organization, but contrasted this with the outlook on China.
"I think politically (China) is more difficult for this administration and it was for the last administration. But we still have to trade with our largest partner in the world: China," he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit.
Noting multiple disputes, he added: " I am hoping we can sort of separate intellectual property, human rights and other things from trade and continue to encourage a free trade environment between these two economic juggernauts. ... We cannot afford to be locked out of that market. Our competitor will jump right in."
Before its 737 MAX debacle Boeing was the biggest U.S. exporter and China was its biggest customer. The MAX has yet to be re-certified in China. If Washington keeps the hostile tone against China Boeing will lose out and Europe's Airbus will make a killing.
Biden announced that "America is back" only to be told that it is no longer needed in the oversized role that it played before. Should Washington not be able to accept that it can no play 'unilateral' but will have to follow the real rules of international law we might be in for some interesting times :Question: Finally, are you concerned that deteriorating international tensions could lead to war?
Glenn Diesen: Yes, we should all be concerned. Tensions keep escalating and there are increasing conflicts that could spark a major war. A war could break out over Syria, Ukraine, the Black Sea, the Arctic, the South China Sea and other regions.
What makes all of these conflicts dangerous is that they are informed by a winner-takes-all logic. Wishful thinking or active push towards a collapse of Russia, China, the EU or the U.S. is also an indication of the winner-takes-all mentality. Under these conditions, the large powers are more prepared to accept greater risks at a time when the international system is transforming . The rhetoric of upholding liberal democratic values also has clear zero-sum undertones as it implies that Russia and China must accept the moral authority of the West and commit to unilateral concessions.
The rapidly shifting international distribution of power creates problems that can only be resolved with real diplomacy. The great powers must recognize competing national interests, followed by efforts to reach compromises and find common solutions.
Russia's president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly asked for a summit of leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council:Putin argued that the countries that created a new global order after World War II should cooperate to solve today's problems.
"The founder countries of the United Nations, the five states that hold special responsibility to save civilisation, can and must be an example," he said at the sombre memorial ceremony.
The meeting would "play a great role in searching for collective answers to modern challenges and threats," Putin said, adding that Russia was "ready for such a serious conversation."
Such a summit would be a chance to work on a new global system that avoids unilateralism and block mentality. As the U.S. is now learning that its allies are not willing to follow its anti-China and anti-Russia policies it might be willing to negotiate over a new international system.
But as long as Washington is unable to recognize its own decline a violent attempt to solve the issue once and for all will become more likely.
Posted by b on April 1, 2021 at 17:52 UTC | Permalink
Very thought provoking b, I wish time off brought me back firing on all cylinders like this!
No doubt vk will chime in here better than I but it surely cannot be a matter of "if America decides". There are historical forces at work in this financialized phase of late capitalism that are not grasped by the US leadership, let alone factored into intelligent policy debates. Biden is an arch-lobbyist for the vested interests which compel the US's unilateral and interventionist foreign policy. I'm quite sure he is incapable of 'deciding' anything (not just mentally but institutionally). But the underlying dynamic of world-historical change is beyond him and his whole country. The die was cast long ago when the Soviet Union fell and the US couldn't help themselves. Junkies for unilateralism since 1989, they will keep shooting up until they OD (Boeing notwithstanding...). I suspect they will end up like the schizoid UK, psychologically unable to accept increasing and humiliating losses of empire until it hits the bottom of the dustbin of History.
Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.orgSkuppers , Apr 2 2021 7:44 utc | 1
Cute /funny, but for me this points to the script that the "west" has laid out before hand: Washington has dialed up an attack by Ukraine, has been concentrating ukrop forces along the line of contact, and has kept its media muzzled, total media blackout, until the Russians respond. Then let loose with the media to make it appear that the Russians are threatening Ukraine. And per the 08/08/08 Georgia attack, if they push the button and attack donbass, and the Russians respond, blame it on Russian aggression. Russia attacks!! Russian aggression!! Who's to know it isn't so? They'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Not like in '08 when the EU was still semi autonomous. If Washington doesn't order an attack, then they can still point to Russia massing troops and score a propaganda victory as Russia is intimidating poor Ukraine. Russian aggression!! And "sell" more weapons to Ukraine and move more "advisors" in. The cost? Who cares? They'll just keep the printing press rolling.
powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 7:58 utc | 2Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 8:19 utc | 3
April 1, 2021"Vyacheslav Nikonov: ...How dangerous is the situation in Ukraine in light of the ongoing US arms deliveries, the decisions adopted in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, and the statements made by the Ukrainian military, who are openly speaking about a war? Where do we stand on the Ukrainian front?
Sergey Lavrov: There is much speculation about the documents that the Rada passed and that President Zelensky signed. To what extent does this reflect real politics? Is it consistent with the objective of resolving President Zelensky's domestic problem of declining ratings?
I'm not sure what this is: a bluff or concrete plans.
According to the information published in the media, the military, for the most part, is aware of the damage that any action to unleash a hot conflict might bring.
I very much hope this will not be fomented by the politicians, who, in turn, will be fomented by the US-led West. ...
Like President Vladimir Putin said not long ago; but these words are still relevant, – those who try to unleash a new war in Donbass will destroy Ukraine. "
Not much more to be said.powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 8:30 utc | 4
Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine.
The day before Zelensky "invited" NATO into Ukraine for military exercises.
In the face of the amassing of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, setting up joint exercises involving Ukraine Army and Allied forces, including joint air patrols with NATO aviation in Ukraine's airspace, will help stabilize the security situation in the region, Mashovets has told his counterpart.
(Disclaimer; I don't know much about this site)
(The day before that there was a top level meeting of NATO "to discuss the situation in Ukraine, which might have provoked/told Zelnsky to do the former).
Talking of provocation; here is a "twit" showing a Polish, it looks like fishing vessel, ramming a supply ship to NordStream II pipe layers. Gangster warfare?
Although b says that the "Russian threat" is overdone, this buildup is certainly part of the problem as the US wants NATO in Ukraine. Therefore the more the threat is hyped the more they can use it to "justify" changing the facts on the ground.
One side observation is that Biden is totally absent. This situation is being run by the US High Command (Milley et al) and others who always want moar war for the cash it brings in.
The US Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Chairman of the JCS, and National Security Advisor have all had phone calls with their Ukrainian counterparts over the past three days, and General Milley spoke with General Gerasimov.Dogon Priest , Apr 2 2021 9:39 utc | 5
Ukraine - and the West's - main problem with Russia over the Donbass is that Russia is NOT a party to the Minsk agreement. With both France and Germany, it is a guarantor.
The signatures on the Minsk document are that of Ukraine and the so-called republics.
Ukraine can create as many laws stating it is in an 'International armed conflict' with Russia as it likes, it does not alter the fact that no such conflict exists, nor has it been brought to the Security Council.
But the Minsk accord HAS been approved by the Security Council."On March 29, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a draft of so-called resolution on the situation in Donbass. It seems that there is noting new in such a document, however, it puts at stake Kiev's obligation on implementation of the Minsk Agreement...
Such a document is not the first to be adopted in Ukraine in the last years. However, this draft has a specific feature. It is for the first time that Ukrainian Rada adopted the draft statement, which says that the war in Eastern Ukraine is a Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.
Previously, the phrase "aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine" was used in Kiev's official documents. Today, the war in Donbass was designated as an international armed conflict, that is, war.
Such a definition has significant juridical impact. This statement completely blocks Kiev's implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Paragraph 2 of the Package of Measures clearly defines that the parties to the conflict are Kiev on the one hand, Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic (LDPR) on the other.
Today the Ukrainian Parliament officially declared, at the highest level, that the parties to the conflict are Ukraine and Russia.
The resolution ensures the immediate forwarding of the text of this statement to the national governments and parliaments of foreign states, international organizations and their parliamentary assemblies."
https://southfront.org/kiev-builds-up-legal-conditions-to-justify-its-upcoming-aggression-in-donbass/A few more...PJB , Apr 2 2021 9:41 utc | 6
US general calls Ukrainian, Russian counterparts over reported Russian troop movements
Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40016/russian-armor-floods-toward-border-with-ukraine-amid-fears-of-an-imminent-crisisThe propaganda may never change but that doesn't mean the events can't be different this time. There's video of large amounts of heavy weapons heading to the border.elephant , Apr 2 2021 9:44 utc | 7
A few weeks ago the US sent 350 tonnes of armoured humvees etc to Odessa. Then On 23rd March video shows Ukraine sending trainloads of tanks etc. On 24th March Kiev passed a decree claiming a right to retake Crimea. It's always said so but this seemed to really ratchet up the rhetoric as it virtually commits the government to trying to retake Crimea by force.
Several videos from 29th March show different Russian trains with scores of tanks etc heading across the Kerch bridge to Crimea, and to the Donbas border. Plus other videos of numerous helicopters & endlessly long lines of tanks & armoured vehicles on roads as well.
This is a buildup not seen since the hit war days of 2014.
Meanwhile a NATO Fleet enters the Black Sea for exercises with Ukraine.MarkU , Apr 2 2021 10:14 utc | 9
A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose.
Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves.
True, there is a possibility of war. Hot heads in Kiev and Washington appear always to want war. But insofar as Washington is concerned, its domestic agenda presently appears to hold far greater sway than does a failing outpost on the periphery of Washington's influence.
At this juncture, then, the possibility of a significant conflict seems low by comparison.Ghost Ship , Apr 2 2021 10:27 utc | 10
@ elephant (7)
You are completely ignoring the overall picture. The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue. Already physical provocation is being used against the pipe-laying ships (see Stonebird's post (2))Personally I blame all this shit on the Nazi scum moved to the United States by Washington after World War 2 and "weaponised". Desperate to destroy Russia and no doubt keen to acquire Lebensraum, these Hitler fanboys and their handlers in Washington are doing everything they can to apply Hitler's racial beliefs to Russia and make them seem like others when Russians are as European as Hungarians, the British and the Irish and certainly more European than Americans, Canadians and Australians. This is to make war with Russia more acceptable among Europeans. Perhaps the Hitler fanboys in Washington need to work to improve their understand of the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2 .johnf , Apr 2 2021 10:56 utc | 11
As Field Marshall Montgomery (a decent but fallible and somewhat egotistical British general) said in 1959:
Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: "Do not go fighting with your land armies in China". It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.
A few years later he repeated his Rules of War and even claimed ownership for himself:
The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule One is, don't march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself.
They are rules that the Hitler Fanboys and "Lost China" morons in Washington should have tattooed on their foreheads along with a free prefrontal lobotomy.
BTW, who are the more civilised:
The use of the procedure increased dramatically from the early 1940s and into the 1950s; by 1951, almost 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States and proportionally more in the United Kingdom. The majority of lobotomies were performed on women; a 1951 study of American hospitals found nearly 60% of lobotomy patients were women; limited data shows 74% of lobotomies in Ontario from 1948–1952 were performed on women. From the 1950s onward, lobotomy began to be abandoned, first in the Soviet Union and Europe..
The idea of "weaponized immigration" in the sense of bringing in immigrant hostile to their source state and using them to overthrow their source state was applied by Washington and largely publicized by Yasha Levine.GhostshipPiotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 11:12 utc | 12
I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.As some of us are superannuated, it is good to know the views of younger generation . Top general of Ukraine addressed the deputies of Verkhovna Rada (parliament), declared readiness of Ukrainian army to attack with the aim of "re-integrating the temporarily not-under-control territories", but then he somberly added the perspective of huge civilian casualties, and then started to described Russian forces currently to the north, east and the south of Ukraine. That was taking some time, so Anna Kolesnik, at 26 one of the youngest deputies of the ruling party, texted "We are listening to Khomchak. We need to get out from this country."Fran , Apr 2 2021 11:41 utc | 13PJB , Apr 2 2021 11:43 utc | 14
Looks like Zelensky signed a document or Decree No. 117/2021 the other day, to recapture the Donbas and Crimea which could also be seen as a declaration of war towards Russia, more in the link below:
As Russian Tanks Move Toward Ukraine, The Globe Braces For World War 3
I expected for something to happen in the Ukraine once Biden become President, but I am surprised by the speed.Jen , Apr 2 2021 12:25 utc | 15
Look at the videos of massive troop build ups. Also the conscription in both the Donbas republics & Ukraine Donetsk & Lugansk militia veterans of 2014/15 returning from Russia to region.
To say nothing is going to happen this time seems wishful thinking.
https://mobile.twitter.com/ASBMilitaryoldhippie , Apr 2 2021 12:29 utc | 16
Of course US and European concern about Russian military build-up along Russia's borders with European nations serves a purpose: justifying even more NATO military build-up along the other side of the Russian border which in turn generates profit for US, British and EU arms corporations and their shareholders in the banking and finance industries (and politics as well), and helps NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to think he is important.
Several nations that have borders with Russia probably need the money that NATO soldiers might spend (mostly on entertainment like watching pole-dancing performers) while stationed on their territories. Latvia and Lithuania among others haven't done too well since joining the EU with something like 18 - 20% of their people living in poverty and many families dependent on remittances sent by their relatives working overseas. Instead of their resident Russian-speaking population being a bridge between their economies and the Russian economy, these countries prefer to deny their Russian-speaking minorities social welfare benefits and the right to vote, unless they can speak and read their host nations' languages at postgraduate level, and to harass them in various petty ways.
As for Ukraine, the Zelensky govt has its work cut out trying to get Crimea back so the US military can take over the base at Sevastopol and turn the Black Sea into a US lake, and to clear out the Donbass region of those pesky Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and make it secure for oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation. The Bidens depend on Zelensky to get those oil and natural gas resources so they can get their cut.imo , Apr 2 2021 12:40 utc | 17
Anna Kolesnik, cited by Piotr Berman @ 12 has it exactly. The emigres are already arriving. Ukraine is and has been entirely a failed state. The Uke army is a joke. So they have a new boatload of Humvees. Probably already sold. Humvees were going to stop T72 and up. Right. High probability Ukraine simply vanishes, local residents invite stability and the Russian army.
The normalcy bias expressed by host and commenters is extreme. Start believing in defeat. Defeat is going to change your outlook.abee , Apr 2 2021 13:29 utc | 19
Decree No. 117/2021
Translation etc here as-russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine --
Also on ZH
"So what made the Russians suddenly move a massive invasion force toward Ukraine?
Well, it turns out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th. The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won't read anything about it in the corporate media.
I really had to dig to find Decree No. 117/2021, but eventually I found it. I took several of the paragraphs at the beginning of the document and I ran them through Google translate
In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:
1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 "On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" (attached).
2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).
3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication
President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY
March 24, 2021
Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia. Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force."oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20
Russia, France & Germany had a call on Tuesday 3/30 & they asked Putin to address the situation in Ukraine - Russia is doing them a favor....
"Russia to act resolutely to secure a cease-fire in the east that has been routinely violated."
https://apnews.com/article/europe-ukraine-angela-merkel-moscow-coronavirus-pandemic-665012871c56b339ebc262d1140c9d57Don Harder , Apr 2 2021 13:46 utc | 21
Librul @ 18
That was more than a week ago. See how much Ukraine has done about it so far? That is as much as they are able to do. Also quoted in #17 by imo, Mike Whitney/ZH "I really had to dig to find Decree 117"... That would be because you have been trained to look away. That decree was well reported, just not in the house organs of the idiots.
Martyanov has a new post up. Worth reading. He cites Michael Hudson on the overwhelming influence Russian Jews have had on US policy. I would add Polish Jews. Zbig Brezinski gets mentioned. Ever taken a look at his pamphlet, The Grand Chessboard? It has been required reading for all students at Thomas Pickering School (State Department) for a generation. Theme is Ukraine is center of universe. And this is because Zbig is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all. Any in US policy establishment who should have known better were blinded by Russophobia. (Just a note, spellcheck on this box changed my spelling to 'Lviv' multiple times before allowing old spelling. The thought control is total.)
The deployed Russian forces are not about overwhelming the Uke army. It is an occupation force. They will be taking territory.I don't see mention of Ukrainian build up and increased aggression on the border of Donbass. That's why Russian troops are building up. They are posturing defensively. It's US-backed Zelensky that is taking the aggressive position here.librul , Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22@Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 14:13 utc | 23
Are you one of the fucks that voted for Biden?
And what does your last sentence mean? "They will be taking territory."J Swift , Apr 2 2021 15:03 utc | 27
Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22
77 millions that voted for Biden are not all "f....s". Everyone has some priorities, imperfect choices etc.
That of course applies to countries, something that "responsible media" never considers, but this is not a good role model for us.
Russia has to rely on her resources, so defending them from military and/or financial takeover or even nuclear blackmail is a vital interest. While there are no perfect choices, they try to choose the better ones. And not leaving people who speak Russian to repressions and even massacres is another vital interest.
In the current situation, Russia clearly needs a deterrence for any possible blitzkrieg type of plan by Ukraine. But pre-emption would not be the best choice.
In turn, Ukrainian government/elite has to bet on a patron and at least make some appearance of diligently following what the patron wants. And for that, they need to raise/maintain tensions with Russia (and China? hard is our fate now that we are underlings).Roger , Apr 2 2021 15:07 utc | 28
I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 15:13 utc | 29
The Dems and Republicans are two heads of the same hydra, voting for one or the other is a charade played on the American people and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The US is a state run for the benefit of the economic elite that owns the media and from which the political elite is chosen/sponsored and which is aligned with the military elite. Presidents will come and go, policy pretty much stays the same, its the same as CEOs of corporations - if they don't follow profit maximization they will be booted out.
The US elites all went to the same schools (or military academy) where they were inculcated with "American Exceptionalism" and the need for "America to be the Global Policeman", ending up with mediocrities such as Blinken and Pompeo that thrash around as the world moves to multipolarity and the US becomes just another important nation. It will take at least decades for the US elite to get their heads around this, the British still haven't as seen by their wasting of resources on showy projects such as the two useless aircraft carriers (know as "targets" by submariners and missile batteries) to assuage its "size" envy.Granted I am just an armchair observer but I have been watching since before the Maidan coup. Something feels different this time, as if the positions of the players involved have changed somehow. I realize that the multipolar world has been incubating for some time now and that Russia, China et.al. have been waiting patiently for USA to collapse from exhaustion, but I rather doubt that it will do so with a wimper. There may come a time when the RF armed forces may opt to use a quick bone crushing response to say 'enough'. While this is never an great option to have to take due to potential reprecussions, it can sometimes be better than being slowly swallowed by the serpeant of Mission Creep.....vk , Apr 2 2021 15:19 utc | 30Russia's official position, as of today morning:Prof , Apr 2 2021 15:27 utc | 31
Kremlin says situation along engagement line in Donbass frightening"Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive," Peskov said in reply to a question. "We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them."
Ukraine's economy is collapsing. Even the IMF (USA) is getting tired of giving it free money:
The IMF is in a panic: Ukraine has been doing without its money for ten monthsProspects for Ukraine this year to receive even the second tranche of the IMF under the $ 5 billion credit line, which Kiev agreed with the Fund last June, remain vague. Although according to the schedule, Ukraine should have already mastered the second and third tranches for a total of $ 1.35 billion and is about to receive the fourth tranche in the amount of $ 0.55 billion, in fact, the first June tranche of 2.1 billion is still the only one.
Commenting on this situation on television, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said this week: "The IMF does not give money, because, unfortunately, as a country, we have crumpled up some obligations and must renew them."
So far, budget holes have been bridged by historically record borrowings in December last year (over $ 6 billion) and an increase in interest rates on domestic borrowings this year. But last year's reserves and domestic borrowing are insufficient either to cover the $ 9 billion budget deficit or to service the external public debt, which will cost at least $ 8.1 billion this year (excluding the cost of securing new loans).
The IMF, by the way, is not interested in getting its money back - they already knew the black hole they were entering into when the coup happened in 2014 - but in social engineering: the American Empire wants a brand new province:According to the aforementioned Sergei Marchenko, the IMF puts forward five main conditions for returning to consideration of the issue of allocating the second tranche of the loan.
First , the Fund requires the restoration of liability, including criminal liability, for the declaration of false information by officials and other persons for whom such is provided in the framework of anti-corruption procedures. This type of responsibility was actually abolished by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) in October last year as part of the recognition of a number of provisions of the anti-corruption law as unconstitutional. Although almost the entire so-called anti-corruption infrastructure in a format imposed by the West contradicts the Constitution, the judges are concerned about this problem mainly because of the infringement of their rights. Since then, Zelenskiy has effectively blocked the work of the KSU, making a number of decisions that clearly go beyond his constitutional powers. And last December, the Verkhovna Radaeven restored responsibility for declaring inaccurate data. But within the framework of the struggle for control over the anti-corruption infrastructure, the "seven-embassy" (the ambassadors of the G7 countries) did not even think that responsibility had been restored.
Secondly , we are talking about the restoration of the so-called independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), that is, the accountability of the body to Western curators, their actual appointment and accountability of the head of NABU, etc. and imply the legal consolidation of the full control of the West over the entire anti-corruption infrastructure, which in its essence is a parallel structure of government in the state. After amending the law on NABU and recognizing as unconstitutional the appointment of Artem Sytnik, a protege of the West, by the head of NABU Zelenskiy never dared to fire him. But even such a manifestation of loyalty to the "seven-embassy" seemed not enough.
Thirdly , the Fund demands urgently to "reform" the High Council of Justice, that is, to transfer the judicial branch of power under the control of the West - by analogy with anti-corruption bodies. In this issue, Ukraine is showing the greatest resistance so far. Moreover, it comes both from the judges themselves and from representatives of other branches of government. For obvious reasons: the surrender of the judicial system will destroy even the miserable remnants of sovereignty, and most importantly, it will carry serious risks both for judges and for various top-level officials.
Fourth and fifth - issues of the gas market and the electricity market. In the context of these markets, the Fund is interested in the abolition of tariffs [n.t. - probably it means here "subsidies"] for the population with a corresponding increase in prices. The Ukrainian, let's say, elites just do not care about the problems of the population - that is why the refusal to regulate gas prices for the population last year became one of the first fulfilled requirements of the IMF. However, when winter came, gas prices skyrocketed and social protests broke out across the country , and gas price regulation had to be urgently returned. Of course, only for a while - first until April, now until May. But the Fund did not like this either: just the other day, the head of the IMF office in Ukraine, Jost Lyngman, called a return to gas price control in an ineffective way of subsidizing households. Exactly the same applies to electricity prices - the tariff for the population was raised in winter, but the Fund wants the regulated tariff to disappear altogether. The Ukrainian authorities are, of course, ready to meet the IMF halfway on these issues. But so that social protests do not completely reset her ratings.
The article also mentions that Ukraine effectively cannot borrow elsewhere in the "free market" because its bonds are rated "junk" (this we already knew, since it's been so for some years now) and that its "borrowing rates" (interest rates) are at 12% (bonds) and 6.5% (central bank's). In other words, Ukraine will disappear as a sovereign country, one way (outright loss of the Eastern regions, reduction to a impoverished para-Polish rump state) or the other (become a proto-colony of the USA a la Puerto Rico). My guess is Zelensky is calculating an all-out war to reconquer the richer eastern regions, followed by a triumphal accession to NATO, to be the only way out for Ukraine as a nation-state.If Ukraine attacks the eastern provinces, there will be a repeat of Georgia 2008. The Russian counter will be ferocious.elephant , Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32
But Ukraine is just a puppet for America, which will use, abuse and even lose Ukraine for *other purposes*.
Those other purposes are fortifying European subordination to NATO, cancelling Nord Stream 2 and breaking any German and French rapprochement with Moscow. US hegemony is in fact conditional on a climate of hostility between Europe and Russia in general, and between Germany and Moscow in particular. Hence the need to provoke Germany to cancel NS2. The Navalny operation didn't work, and the sanctions didn't work either. So it's on to Plan C, which might sacrifice Ukraine for the greater project of US empire.
In the bigger picture, the strategy is to globalize NATO against China. This is the Biden regime's specific strategy of provoking minor conflicts to fortify alliances and bloc politics for taking on China and Russia. Ukraine is just disposable trash in this game.juliania , Apr 2 2021 15:34 utc | 35
That Merkel and Macron just met with Putin is further evidence of the unlikeliness of war. Frau Merkel in particular has an interest in preventing a war because it is Germany who needs the Nordstream pipeline (to Washington's displeasure); the Russians can just as easily sell their natural gas to China if Nordstream falters. Thus the Germans are more likely to exert pressure on Ukraine to forebear than they are to let Ukraine loose the dogs of war.Petri Krohn , Apr 2 2021 15:35 utc | 36
I agree with you, oldhippie @ 20. And thanks to b and other posters here who have kept us well apprised of the events in Ukraine as the buildup commenced on the Ukrainian side, supported by US munitions.
Actually, as far as I can understand it, if the Russians do enter Ukraine it will be at the behest of the Ukrainians themselves, just as it was in Crimea. They will be as supportive as possible of the Donbass, which is already back in the Russian Federation in every way except the formal declaration.
But Russia wants the country of Ukraine to remain whole. That's a big ask, but it surely must include all areas like Odessa in order to be viable as a member of the Federation. I don't know if that is possible yet, but rule by force has existed for so long under such duress there, that I do believe the entire civilian population would be happy to have this happen. And in will come the Russian aid, pouring in on tanks if need be, to a population weary of hardship.
Russia certainly doesn't want to be on a war footing with Ukraine, since it considers the citizenry to be its own people historically speaking, as Putin has said many times. It will not force the issue; it can be patient. But if its troops do enter, they will only do so if they are welcome; and I think that welcome mat is fast being woven, as fast as Penelopes in the Donbass can weave it. And as for the rest of Ukraine, plenty of Penelopes there as well.
It may not be Ukraine will enter the Federation immediately - there will have to be talks and so much restructuring politically speaking before that can happen. But if the hand of Russia is still extended in friendship to places like the US, it most certainly would be to a sane and peaceful Ukrainian government.
Let it be!Duncan Idaho , Apr 2 2021 15:56 utc | 41
This time the buildup is very real. But NATO has no reason to be "concerned", as it is they who have the initiative. Russia will only move in response to a Ukrainian attack on Donbass. Ukraine will only attack after it gets approval or direct orders from Washington.
Work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is progressing fast. I estimate that pipelaying may be finished by the end of May. To prevent it from happening, Ukraine has to attack in April. Rumors claim that the planned date of the attack is April 15, 2021. The problem on the Ukrainian side is that there is no sensible war plan, apart from attacking Donbass and then immediately withdrawing to defensive position on the western shore of the Dnieper River.
Christelle Néant from Donetsk published this on March 16th, citing Ukrainian sources.IF RUSSIA INTERVENES, THE UKRAINIAN ARMY WILL HAVE TO ABANDON ITS OFFENSIVE IN THE DONBASS
In an enlightening article, the Ukrainian media outlet Strana revealed that not only is the Ukrainian army preparing for an offensive in the Donbass, but that there is an emergency plan to stop the attack if Russia were to send its own army in. This information is nothing less than a debunking of seven years of Ukrainian propaganda, which claims that Ukraine is fighting Russia in the Donbass.
The article is based on sources in the Ukrainian army and the Defence Ministry, and begins by questioning the reality of Kiev's preparation for an offensive against the Donbass.
Strana's sources on the front line confirm that there is no longer a ceasefire, nor a withdrawal of troops and equipment. The source even makes it clear that it was Ukraine that first violated this provision of the Minsk package of measures, and that the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics) did so only afterwards, in response to the violation by the Ukrainian army.
BUT, because there is a but in this kind of rather too pretty plan, if Russia sends its army to intervene then the Ukrainian army will have to give up its offensive against the Donbass and withdraw.
"In this case, the AFU offensive will be stopped. With a high degree of probability, the troops will then have to withdraw, so as not to fall again into cauldrons," says the Strana source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.
In other words, for the Ukrainian army's offensive in the Donbass to work, Russia must not intervene. The problem for Kiev is that Russia has no intention of letting several hundred thousand of its citizens die on its border without reacting. A problem that Strana's source is well aware of.Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 16:18 utc | 45
I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.
If it isn't, it should be.Norwegian , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 55
Nice riff on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'!
Excellent take on the situation as it has unfolded. I agree with your observations re: a change in tone coming Russia and China in regard to their criticizms of the USA. It's likely that they have indeed run the numbers on both how much damage they can absorb and what their counter move would be as compare to the long drawn out decline that seems to be atking forever.
The line (or really one of the several) is when the USA get more directly involved and sustains losses at the hands of Russian forces. Nobody really wants to find out what happens when the The Darkness behind the might of the Pentagram has a hissy fit. The yapping dog might just beable to run the numbers itself and see the outcome as being very disadventageous to itself and it's minions. Who am I kidding, the USA doesn't care a whit about it's minions....ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 57
@elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32
I believe you are right. A war is unlikely, but with madmen in Washington you never know. Some of them would like to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 17:15 utc | 58
But, Russia is moving substantial troops and equipment to the Ukrainian border to deter the Kiev authorities from invading the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) - so this is real not a made-up story (it is not what 'normal' troop movements as the b's article implies). Russia is drawing a red line and it should be seen as such!
Russia's actions will probably be enough to dissuade Kiev but what have they got to lose? The Kiev regime is failing, its economy is in freefall, disaster beckons - a glorious military defeat might be considered preferable to inevitable social and economic collapse.
Kiev may also have well-founded belief that the US/West will be forced to support them militarily to keep the secrets of western involvement in the downng of MH17 out of Russian hands.Thomas Minnehan , Apr 2 2021 17:17 utc | 59
Thank you for all the compliments. I am not and will not be angry with librul for more than one moment, in the past. Same Biden/Trump barbs are tossed daily on a face to face basis. It has become how Americans are.
Ghostship does make some good points. Not theoretical to me. Here in Chicago FuhrerTag is still celebrated at many bars. Large group sings of Horst Wessex song occur for a variety of occasions. When at University of Illinois (70s) there was a sizable contingent of OUN children in the History Department. They freely Indulged in Sieg Heil and Slava Ukraina to greet each other publicly. There was also an Ustache contingent who did return to Croatia, not to fight but to govern. Shall we say that these groups were insane. Some did go to military careers.Some did go to State Department. Some did go to think tanks. If the subject is Russia clinical insanity is not a career impediment in America.
For two days I owned the Rainbow, Bugsy Siegel's old joint 1900 N. Damen. . That was Ukrainian Village. My money was refunded. The alternative was death. Yes, they put guns in my face. Yes, they could do that. No, I do not like these people.
None of us predicts future with any accuracy. Will keep pointing out that downsides for Russia will vanish with victory. They have a lot of choices in how they could construct that victory. Every choice US/NATO has available is nothing but a defeat.Copeland , Apr 2 2021 17:25 utc | 62
Thanks for that note.
It is a very important reminder as to how insane and mindless the neo con hatred is of Russia and Putin. It is indeed alarming that this rabid hatred controls the neo cons and what passes for us foreign policy. How can on expect rational policy when the people in charge are completely irrational.
Link to the article:
If nothing else, just note the quote in the article from Hudson-it is beyond alarming as to the description by hudson of the mindless and controlling irrationality of the neo cons in the dimo biden admin!ptb , Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63
I watched a video by Alexander Mercouris China Warns Ukraine on Crimea Ties which shows how coordinated this present crisis may be, as Washington may be maneuvering its Ukrainian proxy into nationalizing a corporation there that manufactures a variety of turbine engines, built to power both warships and aircraft. Zelensky is applying pressure on both China and Russia at once. The Russians have overcome some manufacturing problems and have had to build up their own stocks of turbines for military use. Responding to Zelensky's seizure of their assets and investments in Ukraine, the Chinese have sent an economic mission that involves serious investments in Crimea .
A coordinated threat to the culturally Russian Donbas and Lugansk region and the nationalizing of Chinese assets will place China and Russia again on the same path in their diplomatic response. It would not be a surprise if China officially recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:51 utc | 66
To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world. The striking thing is the hubris - they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them.Kapusta , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 74
Just to add to my post @57.
Russia doesn't need "troops" to defend Donetz and Luhansk; Russian can destroy Ukrainian forces using stand-off weapons and then DNR and LNR forces can easily cope with what remains. Russian doesn't need forces to "occupy" Donetz and Luhansk because these areas will remain under the control of the republics. What Russia needs "troops" for is to advance and capture Kiev and this is what Russia's troop deployments threaten. If the conflict starts in Ukraine then Russia will demonstrate its ability to do whatever it wants in all areas of Ukraine; then Russia will withdraw and leave what is left for the West/EU and US to deal with.
Rationally, nothing will happen because Kiev will be deterred. But, many elements in the Kiev regime may desire war because they believe the West will (because they "have to") support them (or, as I already said, glorious defeat may seem preferable to the slow-burn collapse of their regime). The US/West may encourage Kiev because they are posturing for war and the plandemic is envisaged as the best time for such an event (I feel the likelihood of this is underestimated), or compelling a demonstration of Russian "aggression" may have overriding propaganda value (regardless of the outcome for the Kiev regime) for their own populations (everyone can really hate on Russia for the next 10 years - hate is a great unifier).Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 75
All of this is to be expected after weeks and weeks of UAF buildup along the Donbass border. In fact, they've been shelling villages in the Donbass for some time now since they re-instigated aggression in February. Even today they were shelling the infamous Donetsk airport. On top of that you've got US aerial vehicles flying around the Black Sea right underneath Crimea and next to Krasnodar. Kiev's posturing has signaled their supposed willingness to attack the Donbass and attempt to retake Crimea, so Russia's reaction to protect Russian citizens would be entirely reasonable.The defense ministers of Ukraine and the United States held their second conversation in a month and a half on the situation in Donbass. According to Andriy Taran, the Americans promised Kiev "support measures" in the event of a direct military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The US will not come to the aid of Ukraine. That is a pipe dream, pun intended.Per/Norway , Apr 2 2021 19:24 utc | 80
@JohninMK et al:
On the surface this seems to be a continuation of the provocation game, which has been the tactic since the beginning. The Ukies are definitely upping the ante by threatening Crimea. I can only assume that they are deep into thinking wishfully that the USA will "come to rescue" when they poke the bear. But in both their cases I have to wonder: with WHAT? The Ukies dont have an effective army as demonstrated by mass defection and surrender last bout. Other than "punishment battallions" there do not seem to be many troops willing to fight. As for the USA, they are not shock troops, they are an occupation force. So then is it to be some sort aerial ballet of stand-off weapons over the skies of the Donbass??
As stated above, the Western MSM is going to shriek like flock of terrified Karens no matter what Russia does so they may as well earn it. My mind wanders over the demonstration of the Iskander in Syria most recently. Ten or so of those simultaneously in the right places would bring a Ukrops offensive to sudden halt if there were the will to do so.....oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 20:08 utc | 89
"Zelensky recent declaration of intent to interdict in Crimea"
docStonebird , Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 90
Zelensky is making de-escalation noises. Bit late for that. Should this all ratchet down it will be the end of Zelensky. Bear in mind he is there only because there is no one else. As an actor and a comedian he has been impersonating a President. He did that for the sitcom cameras and then he did it in real life.
It will also be the last time Ukraine ever pretends to field an army. Conscripts will make their way home somehow, they won't be played again. Heavy equipment and ammo will be auctioned off cheap to any who can arrange transport. Transport will be questionable, arms will be sold very cheap.
Ukraine army is heavily larded with mercs and Wahabi jihadis from all over the planet. Idiots could still start something big even if the "leadership" calls it off. Shelling has been happening all day up and down the line. Artillery is mostly mercs. Russia is holding fire so far, one shell chances to fall on a concentration of Russian troops and it is on.
Poles and other idiots could also blow this up. Way too many moving pieces and no one in charge, either in Kiev or Washington.
If this excitement just ends Ukraine will go from a comic opera government to no government at all. Russia will move in for humanitarian reasons. Western Ukraine will die or flood to Europe.Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 2 2021 20:26 utc | 94
I see we are back to the "fog of war".
There has been artillery/mortar fire around Horlivka and elsewhere. (50 shells) These mortar attacks were conducted by the 58th motorised rifle brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the areas of Avdeevka and Pervomaisky.
A Global Hawk is presumed to have flown over both Donetsk and Luhansk - various altitudes to test the Russian radars. This is the same type that was shot down by Iran. Maybe the US wants to order a few more replacements?
One vid that is supposed to show a train full of Tor systems of the 56 airborne has already been debunked as filmed a long way away on the other side of Russia, (The 56th do not have Tors)
It is clear that there is a definite push to provoke a Russian reaction. The threats about Crimea mean that any movement in that area will be taken seriously, as "several" high ranking Russian Generals have arrived there. Russian Generals lead from the front, not the back as do the UK or US versions. (see Syria)
It is the details that are showing that this will escalate (Burning houses and villages) and civilians in bunkers. I was going to show you the picture of an old man still in the firing area, because he has nowhere else to go . Someday the human cost must be counted.
Interesting tie ups with the BRI and Afghanistan from Karlof1's post @70. One mention of a canal between the Sea of Azof and the Caspian, via Russsia. The "anything but Suez" canal?
More than that, I realised that the Saudi Arabian NOEM (Straight Line road) across the Gulf of Aqaba to Sharm el-Sheik, will eventually give it access to the Med via Egypt and Africa, without going through Israel. (Or Lebanon, Syria or Turkey)
Syria is in a mess because of lack of fuel. Their stolen fuel is/was bought by Israel cheaply. Are you sure that the EverGiven WAS an accident?
Biden has Zelenskys back - if he is thinking of his back pocket there is nothing left in it.Erelis , Apr 2 2021 21:07 utc | 97
I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.
A fair and balanced analysis, as far as it goes.
We must remember the Stavka is in charge....
What makes the most sense to them??? Where should the cease fire line be??? The best place to put it is the midline of the Denieper River. It is a natural boundary. It is wide enough so anything less than 155 mm artillery can't reach across. It resolves permanently water supply to Crimea.
NATO will use this action to censure, villify, and sanction Russia. She might as well get something for that.
Will this happen?? Last year, I'd say no.... but now.... anything goes...
INDYI thought Biden would not start a war until next year to save the 2022 mid-term elections. My speculation is that Merkel is standing firm on Nord Stream 2 so the Biden administration is going to use the Ukrainians to start up a war against Russia to physically shut down the construction of the pipeline and introduce sanctions like against SWIFT, Aeroflot, etc.Lozion , Apr 2 2021 21:20 utc | 98Reports of use of Bayraktars TB2 in Donbass:Jo , Apr 2 2021 22:07 utc | 111
https://twitter.com/theragex/status/1378091551671398406?s=21librul , Apr 2 2021 22:08 utc | 112
During a meeting with Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Taran and the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the defense attaches of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom assured Ukraine of the support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. "US, Canada's, and UK Defense Attaches met with Minister of Defense [of Ukraine] Taran, Deputy Minister Petrenko, Deputy Minister Polishchuk, Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Naiev, and Colonel Budanov," the U.S. Embassy posted on Twitter. The Embassy assured Ukraine of support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity: "We stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity and are watching the situation in Ukraine closely."
@Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:49 utc | 106
The story is number one or two all over the place (The Hill, Politico, Reuters, The Washington Times,...).
No mention of Ukraine except perhaps in minor side stories.
"Biden holds first call with Ukrainian president amid Russian buildup"
By NATASHA BERTRAND and LARA SELIGMAN
04/02/2021 09:39 AM EDT
Updated: 04/02/2021 11:24 AM EDT
President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Friday morning for the first time since Biden took office, amid reports of a Russian military buildup in eastern Ukraine that has alarmed U.S. and Ukrainian officials.
The leaders spoke for 30 to 40 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of the call. A White House readout of the conversation said Biden "reaffirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea."
Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Apr 1 2021 22:22 utc | 49
Nice work on pulling all the puzzle pieces together, b!
The really big problem will be weaning the Outlaw US Empire from its addiction to Unilateralism, which is its primary mode of operation aside from a very brief interlude when FDR was POTUS, devised the UN and its Charter, and got the Senate to ratify it so it would become an integral part of the USA's fundamental law of the land.
All one need do to see the gravity of the bolded text is to examine the Outlaw US Empire's behavior since FDR died--The USA immediately transformed into the Outlaw US Empire on 22 October 1945 when the UN Charter came into full force and the Empire was already in grave violation of its fundamentals.
That those millions of violations have never seen the inside of a courtroom doesn't mean they never occurred or aren't now happening globally.
I was going to post this on the other thread but will use it here as an example that's grave:
"Nord Stream AG Says Warships, Submarines and Helicopters Tried to Disrupt Pipeline's Construction":
"However, it seems that in March threats to the pipeline multiplied and became more 'real'.
"The construction site of Nord Stream 2 has been suffering harassment by various vessels and aircraft in recent months, which nearly led to damage to the pipeline itself, according to Nord Stream AG representative Andrey Minin. He stressed that the disturbances were 'clearly planned and thoroughly prepared provocations,' devised to stop the joint Russian-European project in its tracks ." [My Emphasis]
Unilateral Act of War anyone?!! Yes, its the Poles once again.
IMO, it's sad b omitted mentioning the newly formed Friends of the UN Charter Group in his article since it aims at drowning the "Unilateral, rules based international order" once and for all time. My promotion of it isn't going to be enough. If all but the Neoliberal nations become members, then they can jointly aver that there's only one system of international Law and its based on the UN Charter and all relevant treaties thus shutting up the Outlaw US Empire regardless its protests. Of course, a movement within the Empire that says the same as the Friends would go a long ways to getting us where we as humans want to go to--a peaceful planet that's concerned about the wellbeing of humans and all they need for support instead of making the rich ever richer through the terror of unremitting Class War.
And if you don't think that War isn't based on Terror, then you haven't seen migrant families busted up with the little kids being kidnapped and all put into concentration camps. ( China is beginning to bark up that very inhuman tree watered so well by the Outlaw US Empire.)
Nick , Apr 2 2021 0:16 utc | 71
Dumb Polacks are getting desparate
Apr 02, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Apr 2 2021 18:16 utc | 70
So Alfie, What's it all about?
Geoeconomics and Market Weight and it's not behind a paywall. Escobar intones:
"As it stands, Russia is very much focused on limitless possibilities in Southwest Asia, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made it clear in the 10th Middle East conference at the Valdai club [Link at Original]. The Hegemon's treats on multiple fronts – Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream 2 – pale in comparison."
Awhile ago, I posted the following acutely correct adage: The USA treats business as war, while treating war as business. I added what Coolidge was misquoted as saying in 1925--The business of America is business (He actually said, "the chief business of the American people is business.") So when the POTUS says its just business, you should prepare for war.
Back to the linked article. While reading it ought to be easy to see why the BRI interconnectivity is seen as a huge threat to the two Outlaw Maritime Empires--UK/US--who initially set forth the parameters of the Great Game. (BTW, Lavrov's Great Game program interview English transcript is now complete.) They have no seat at the table whatsoever. You'll also see why the Outlaw US Empire will try to remain in Afghanistan forever as well as the reason why it can't admit the real reason for being there--to interdict the BRI and the development boom it promises to bring to a great many impoverished people throughout Eurasia. Talk about Human Rights!
But it looks like all the Empire's efforts will amount to little more than a mosquito attacking an elephant for there's no way it can stop BRI or Eurasian integration; at best, it can merely delay it and earn the enmity of the planet, including its own people. Clearly, India will cease its role in the Quad as staying locks it out from what it needs most--development that uplifts its impoverished tens of millions. And the loss of India means the certain loss of the Great Game for the Outlaw Empire.
In the grand scheme of things, Ukraine is merely a tsetse fly as is NATO ultimately. The real prize lies with the geoeconomic riches BRI and Eurasian Integration will generate and being a partner with it, not an adversary.
Mar 31, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.orgBaron , Mar 31 2021 21:40 utc | 27
The US-China meeting in Anchorage took place 75 years almost to the day of the Winston Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri. Just as the latter signalled a break point in the uneasy, war forced cohabit of the West with the communist Soviet Union, so too the Anchorage will enter the history as the break point in the US hegemony threatening collaboration of the West and China.
Since WW2, no other nation, not even Russia, has confronted the US so firmly and so publicly as did Yang Jiechi, one of the ruling member of the Chinese Politburo when he said that "the United States does not have the qualification to speak to China from a position of strength'.
That was a slap in the face the Americans will have to respond to, and it's in the nature of the response one will find whether the American Governing elite is prepared to share power or go for a confrontation.
Mar 30, 2021 | odysee.com
@Dwaine.Castle852 2 hours ago
I hope that someone sends her a pair of the Nike Satan sneakers. Perhaps with the blood of a few children inside. @Tsigantes 2 hours ago
'role model' ?
We are warned....for what "it's worth" !
- @csigrissom 2 hours ago
Why are we surprised that most of the Arab world hates the West?
Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.orgkarlof1 , Mar 30 2021 17:08 utc | 28
Let's consider this headline for a moment: "Blinken Accuses China of Trying to Undermine US-Dominated World Order." Blinken provides us with a definition of that "world order" in his own words cited in the article: "'... preserve the rules-based international order, in which we have all invested so much over the past 75 years , and which has served our interests and values well'." [My Emphasis]
Clearly, he's referring to the rules put in place by the UN Charter. But as we at this bar all know, it's the Outlaw US Empire for whom Blinken works that's the #1 criminal when it comes to violating the UN Charter which is why it's "served our interests and values well."
Now when we turn to reality, it become very clear that China seeks to uphold the UN Charter--it's one of the foundational members of the newly established Friends of the UN Charter Group that the Outlaw US Empire will certainly snub because of the reality of its actual relations to that Act and Organization .
Indeed, what is being said by the very formation of that Group is a big NO!! to the Outlaw US Empire's attempt to say it abides by the system it's continuously violated for the past 75+ years. Yet, it's also clear that NO!! isn't being shouted out by global media enough, particularly when Outlaw US Empire officials give such an excellent opportunity to be rebuffed and ridiculed for their lies.
We have many good writers here who could take Blinken's words and turn them into an indictment of himself and the nation he represents. That implies that writers for global publications are just as good but need to examine the framing of their articles. Peace won't come to our planet unless the Outlaw Bully Nation is daily accused for what it is and does.
NATO is a distinct minority yet it holds the world captive in a terroristic manner. It's well past time to stop groveling and kow-towing and to stand-up and call out the bullshitters for what they are since being nice isn't getting us anywhere.
Mar 30, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
librul , Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1
Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.
Thank you very much.
One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.
Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama's attack:
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
More at ABC [12/18/2009]:
Norwegian , Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10
@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1
You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.
Mar 30, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below
BERLIN, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gas contributes only a fraction of Germany's energy consumption, and Russian gas only a fraction of that, so it is wrong to say that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will make Germany dependent on Russian energy, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said.
Asked about the flagship Kremlin project, which has been heavily criticised by the United States and some European countries, Scholz on Monday restated the German government's position that the pipeline was a private investment and should not be the target of U.S. sanctions.
The poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, blamed by most Western governments on Russian state actors, has led to renewed calls for the nearly complete pipeline, built by state-owned Gazprom, to be cancelled.
Critics of the pipeline say it increases Germany's reliance on Russian energy and deprives transit countries Poland and Ukraine of crucial leverage over the giant country to their east. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Maria Sheahan)
Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 8:25 am
To go back to a previous BTL discussion on Patrick Cockburns recent article in Counterpunch, Bidens missteps so early on are a very worrying indicator that his foreign policy team is worse than just being malign. They are incompetent. Thats a very dangerous combination.
I don't think the Russians, Chinese, or most other major countries (apart from Europe) had a fundamental problem with Trumps approach. They understood him, and were quite happy to ignore his bombast and threats and focus instead on what was happening in the real world. But things are different for someone like Biden, and I'm very surprised nobody in his team seem to realise this. When he talks on the record, its assumed that it is a reflection of a real policy. At first, I thought maybe he was just doing the usual new guy in power thing of talking tough to set the ground for later compromises (the opposite of Obama, who appeared very weak to other leaders, and then just looked indecisive when his policies turned more hardline). But that does not seem to be the case so far.
I've no idea what the final outcome will be, but I do think that this is one of those points in history where things take a very sharp and irreparable change in direction. Obviously, things have been brewing for years, but the ineptness of US foreign policy seems to have created a strategic Russian/China alliance which will force many countries to make some very hard choices about which side of the fence they are on.
On a related note, I woke up this morning to find that a speech by Lawrence P. Wilkerson, who is associated with the conservative paleoconservatives is getting very wide circulation in China (you know this has to be officially approved otherwise it disappears very rapidly on WeChat. He makes a claim that the CIA back in the early '00's intended to use the Uigurs as a sort of proxy army to destabilise China. For all sorts of reasons, I would doubt that, but it is now widely believed among Chinese people, even those who have no liking for the CCP. The notion that the Uigurs are a sort of third force within China, and as such need to be destroyed now seems to be very deeply embedded in Chinese thinking, and the interference by 'official' western NGO's are undoubtedly making things much worse for them.
pjay , March 27, 2021 at 9:41 am
"[Wilkerson] makes a claim that the CIA back in the early '00's intended to use the Uigurs as a sort of proxy army to destabilise China. For all sorts of reasons, I would doubt that, but it is now widely believed among Chinese people, even those who have no liking for the CCP."
Just curious as to what your reasons would be for doubting this. The CIA has been doing precisely this all over the world for over 70 years. There is a clear pipeline between the Uighurs in China and the CIA-supported "rebels" in Syria. The expatriate Uighur organizations that are integral to the Western propaganda apparatus is supported and amplified by the NED and other CIA fronts, as your last sentence implies. This is not to deny the historical Uighur desire for autonomy in Western China, nor to defend Chinese policies toward them. Rather, it is to acknowledge the CIA's use of ethnic tensions to sow chaos and division in non-conforming nations *everywhere*.
PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 10:32 am
Its unlikely because:
1. The US has had little to no success in its many attempts to establish an intelligence foothold in China. There is zero evidence, direct or indirect, that it has had any successful contact with Uigur groups directly, although contacts via others, such as the Pakistani or Turkish intelligence agencies are possible. If there was even the tiniest amount of evidence of such a link, the Chinese would be broadcasting it from the skies, and not just re-messaging out tired CT stuff. Chinese intelligence is far ahead of the US in that region, so they would certainly know if something like that was happening.
2. Uigur groups in general such as we know about them tend to be as virulently anti Western as anti Han Chinese. All evidence suggests that the brand of Islam that has been belatedly introduced into those regions is essentially second hand Wahhabism (traditionally, they were never all that religious).
3. Any such attempt could be easily countered by China – simply by dumping Uigur radicals into Afghanistan to bolster the Taliban, or anywhere else that would create trouble. The fact that they haven't done this strongly suggests that the Chinese themselves see no link.
4. US military intelligence is often a misnomer, but even the CIA can't be stupid enough to think that fostering another islamic state on the borders of Afghanistan is anything but a terrible idea.
Of course, no doubt some mid ranking CIA officer may have circulated some report saying more or less 'hey, maybe we can use those Uighurs or whatever they are called'. But thats an entirely different thing from suggesting that there have been active links and a strategy for using them to destabilise the borders of China. The reality is that the US has been entirely unsuccessful in any attempts (when they've been made) to undermine China via internal Chinese ethnic or religious groups.
Incidentally, the reliability of Wilkerson (who I actually quite like and who says some interesting things), on that topic can be measured by his statement that the invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by an attempt to stop the Belt and Road Initiative. It's quite impressive intelligence if that was the case as the invasion predated the Belt and Road Initiative by more than a decade.
David , March 27, 2021 at 10:57 am
Yes, I think the important point is your last one. It's not out of the question that on a rainy afternoon in Virginia some junior CIA analyst amused himself by sketching out such an idea, and one day the product may leak and be presented as "proof." But for the reasons you give, the political leaders who would have to approve the scheme would turn it down, even if it were physically possible. I doubt it would be, actually: from what little information is publicly available, the US seems to be having little or no luck penetrating that area.
pjay , March 27, 2021 at 11:48 am
Thanks for the systematic reply. I appreciate each of your points, and pretty much agree with the first one – including your comment about Turkish intelligence. But regarding the others, the fact that we are talking about anti-Western Wahabist radicals does not mean the CIA (or elements of the CIA or other military/intelligence operations) would hesitate to weaponize them if possible. We did this in Afghanistan, Bosina, Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Chechnya etc. Indeed, we seemed to *welcome* the fostering of an Islamic State in Eastern Syria, because the various jihadists were a means to destroy the Syrian government. When the goal is to foster chaos and destruction in order to *undermine* an existing state, the calculus of unleashing the head-choppers is different than if we were actually interested in fostering stability in the region. I admit that such a strategy might sound insane to *us*, but Einstein's definition of insanity seems to rule our National Security Establishment.
David , March 27, 2021 at 1:28 pm
Not PK, but I would suggest these cases are not only different from each other, but also different from the Uigurs. Essentially, there was a war going on in all of these cases, and the US (and they were scarcely the only ones) decided to try to get a bit of influence by arming one or more of the factions. This is a tactic which is as old as arms themselves, and has a pretty spotty record of success, if that. Its advantage is that it is low-key and doesn't require a massive presence (the classic case is the Soviet Union and the Chinese flooding Africa with AK-47s and copies in the 1960s and 1970s). But the cases you mention are very disparate. In Bosnia there do seem to have been some (illegal) CIA deliveries to the Muslims in violation of the embargo, but these were very small scale and in any event the Muslims were one of the major parties to the conflict, as well as constituting the de facto government in Sarajevo, because the other ethnicities had withdrawn. Likewise, and in spite of preening memoirs and films, the US influence in Afghanistan was quite small : the mujahideen were already forming in the 1970s, and the only contribution the US really made was to supply anti-aircraft missiles, which complicated the Russians' existence quite a bit. But actually fomenting and arming an insurgency next to one of the three or four major powers on the planet, with highly skilled intelligence services? There is stupidity and there's downright insanity.
upstater , March 27, 2021 at 7:33 pm
I the 1950s, the CIA and MI6 trained and armed the "Forest Brothers" in the Baltics. Neutral Sweden and Finland were across hundreds of km of water. Land access was through Soviet territory or satellites. There was no significant international trade or commerce in the area at the time. Yet they had tens of thousands of well supplied (for that era) resistance fighters that took a decade for the USSR to stomp out.
To suggest that today's CIA is incapable of stirring things up in a well-connected Xinjiang when thousands of foreigners travel there, tons of business shipments and international flights and road transport is a mystifying statement. Particularly after CIA's decades of experience managing jihadis all across North Africa, Mideast and Central Asia, more than a few being Uigurs.
And suggesting that the only thing the US supplied the Afghan jihadis were Stinger missiles is far off the mark. It was a multi-billion dollar per year operation conducted by the US with collaboration of the ISI and Saudis. All those tens of thousands of jihadis didn't arrive by camels and make slingshots.
I agree "There is stupidity and there's downright insanity" in fomenting troubles in Xinjiang. The US has already passed that test. Many times.
Yves Smith , March 27, 2021 at 10:06 pm
We are three generations past the 1950s. Not a relevant example.
The US is not even remotely as good as you'd have to believe to accept this theory. For starters, we don't begin to have enough people with native level language competence, much the less willing to live there long enough to be trusted. They'll take our arms, but our directives?
It is in the interest of the CIA to take credit for all sorts of things where their role was non-existent to marginal because funding.
PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 2:20 pm
David put it so much better than I could.
I can't claim any great knowledge or insight into the region, but the notion that the Uighurs were part of a grand CIA strategy, or that they have had sufficient influence in the region to manipulate them into opposing China, just doesn't pass the smell test. Unfortunately, like the notion that Covid is spread on frozen food, so far as I can tell it is now considered 'a fact' by most Chinese, inside and outside the country. As a result, even Chinese who strongly dislike their government are not at all bothered by reports coming out of the region.
For what its worth, I knew an English guy who lived for a few years in Urumqi with his Chinese wife about 15 years ago. He was virulently anti-muslim and didn't much like the non-Chinese locals he met, but I remember at the time that said that what he saw around him convinced him that things were going to end very badly for the Uighurs, the Chinese were just waiting for the opportunity to wipe them out. I was in Tibet at that period (I was fortunate to get a visa on the last year solo traveller were allowed in) and witnessed the way Tibetans were openly abused on the street by Chinese soldiers. Even Tibetans said that the Uighurs got it worse.
drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 5:53 pm
The US government and privately motivated US citizens have no credibility on this issue. That means if anyone is going to raise it, it will have to be someone other than America or Americans.
That doesn't change the fact of Great Han Lebensraum genocide-policy against the Uighurs on the part of the Chinese Communazi Party. And Chinese statements about their Lebensraum genocide against Uighuria are just as much hasbara as Israeli statements about antiPalestinianitic persecution in the Occupied West Bank.
And if that purely-private opinion of a mere U S citizen makes any Great Han hasbarists ( or might I say . . . Hansbarists) on this thread mad, then that makes me happy.
Fern , March 27, 2021 at 6:14 pm
Your friend was English; I have not seen this attitude on the part of Chinese friends or Chinese I've talked with. I was traveling on a domestic flight in China a number of years ago and found myself sitting on a plane next to a random Chinese soldier -- a memorably tall, handsome young man. He spoke English well enough to have a discussion (the relaxed atmosphere and the need to pass the time does wonders when it comes to breaking down language barriers). Major Uighur terror attacks and unrest had been in the news (around 2009), so I asked him what he thought about it. He said that he grew up in Xinjiang. His parents were Han Chinese who had first come to Xinjiang during the cultural revolution to build some local infrastructure/improvement project (he described it to me but I don't remember the details). They saw their goal as improving conditions in the region. Of course, the government wanted to solidify Chinese presence in that region of their country, but I heard no hint of anger or derision toward the Uighur. He said he was very concerned that the Uighur people were happy and he hoped China could find a way to mend the relationship. He said that growing up, there were many mixed Chinese/Han marriages and that "people say" that mixed Han/Uighur marriages produced the most physically beautiful children. I didn't see any evidence of the malignant racism you describe on the part of your English friend.
Strong central governments vs violent separatist movements tend to create lasting problems. Growing up in a border state over 100 years after our own civil war, I grew up with the fact that many people had still not let go of that resentment. Southerners still maintained a sense of grievance back then. The Maryland state song that I learned as a child is only now being decommissioned by the state legislature. One stanza refers to the "Northern scum".
This week's WaPo headline: "Maryland poised to say goodbye to state song that celebrates the Confederacy".
drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 10:40 pm
If your Han Chinese interlocutor's feelings are widely shared among the ruled-over rather than ruling-over ordinary majority of Han citizens, then it would appear that it is the MonoParty RegimeGovernment ruling over China which is Communazi, not the people as such.
Regardless, it will be up to countrygovs which have moral standing in this area to comment or not, not the US anymore. At least for now.
Probably the Uighurs have it even worse than Tibetans because Uighuria is very inhabitable by Han settlers whereas Tibet is high and dry enough that ( I have read), that lowland-adapted Hans have trouble physically coping over time with the lower oxygen levels at Tibet altitude.
If that is so, then the High Tibetan Plateau at least would not provide Lebensraum for millions of Han Settlers in any case, so why clear the Tibetans off the plateau and out of existence? Not so much need, in Tibet's case.
Keith Newman , March 27, 2021 at 2:43 pm
I have no knowledge about points 1 to 3, but totally disagree with point 4.
The hubris and desire of the US alphabet agencies to meddle is remarkable. A current example is the CIA support of jihadis in Syria that the US military itself is fighting against.
Interesting caution re Wilkerson – do you have a link?
The Rev Kev , March 27, 2021 at 10:03 am
Here is a link to an article talking about that talk PK. Having a coupla thousand Uygurs in Syria gaining combat experience for use later who knows where was probably proof enough for China of western intentions. Just think of the other Jihadists who have been used in places like Libya and the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and the Chinese would be drawing their own conclusions-
Mar 28, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,Enter The Putinator
When Biden called Russian President a soulless "killer" on ABC News, Putin responded with the most deft bit of diplomacy I've seen in quite a while, openly challenging Fungal Joe to a publicly broadcast debate of substantive issues, which Biden, of course, declined.
For those that don't remember the context, here's the article from Zerohedge on the subject .
There can be no question now that all the disparate interests within The Davos Crowd are aligned at this point (see this month's Newsletter for more discussion on this). All guns point at Russia.
Putin tried to defuse the situation with an offer that was at once an epic troll of Biden, who is clearly no match for his Russian counterpart cognitively, and a warning to Americans that this situation has gotten far more dangerous than they are being told.
And sometimes you win simply by taking the high road. Make no mistake the fact that Putin went here this early in Biden's presidency is a bad sign. It tells us things are horrific between the world's most prominent nuclear powers and that there's been zero diplomatic effort put forth by the Biden administration since the election.
The problem is rapidly becoming that indiscriminate use of all weapons all the time -- diplomatic, economic, military, propaganda -- creates a kind of dopamine addiction. In order to keep the public interest in the threat they have to keep raising the stakes and the rhetoric to eventually absurd levels.
As I like to say all the time, it's the first rule of screenwriting : Be forever raising the stakes lest the audience gets bored.
But there comes a point where people begin to realize that they are being asked to back a war where the existential threat to the elite's power is transferred onto them. Remember folks, government's fight and spend billions propagandizing you into believing their wars are for your own good.
It's rarely the case, if ever. More often than not the war being ginned up in the media and by government officials is one that either feathers their own nest directly, supports the goals of other powerful folks indirectly, or covers up past corruption.
The brewing conflict in Ukraine is all of these and more. The project to add Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. It's an important cog in the World Economic Forum's desire to expand the EU to both encircle Russia thereby disrupting any dreams of Eurasian integration which could form a bulwark against their brave new world.
What's got Biden's Depends in a bunch is that he's neck-deep in the corruption in Ukraine. In Obama's own words, Ukraine is Joe's project. And Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is not fully subsumed into the morass of Biden's (and the rest of the usual suspects') problems.
Putin's deft and cordial handling of Biden's indiscriminate use of language was masterful here. Biden's initial remarks are, at best, him trying to hold onto the Amy Poehler demographic (see reruns of Parks and Recreation for her slavish obsession with him as Vice-President) as a vibrant, macho man, while he implements every bad idea that that same demographic rejected from all the other Democrats during primary season.
But we can all see he's nothing of the sort. He's a barely coherent, rapidly fading bully with no discernible achievements in life other than being available to be a placeholder for someone else's plans.
So, it was never a question as to whether Biden would ever talk to Putin under those conditions. They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.
And don't get me started on that embarrassment of a press conference held the other day. Running for re-election in 2024? This guy's not going to be alive in 2024. Then again, since he didn't run in 2020, what does it actually matter?
Elections are just Hollywood productions anymore anyway.
Biden's counter is to now invite Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping the big Climate Summit in late April where the WEF controls the agenda and Biden's anti-diplomatic corps led by the completely over-matched Secretary of State Antony Blinken can further embarrass the U.S. on the world stage.
Since both Putin and Xi told the WEF to go scratch on both Climate Change, Agenda 2030 and, most notably from Putin, the Fourth Industrial Revolution , I don't see how this summit ends any better than virtual Davos did earlier this year.
In fact, with Biden's approach to both China and Russia so far, this summit is shaping up to be a colossal waste of time while also threatening everyone the world over with what they can expect policy-wise from the West until someone finally puts these insane people out of our misery.
With each day that passes the U.K., for example, under tyrant Boris Johnson sinks further into a complete totalitarian nightmare (see here , here , here , and here from the last 24 hours) thanks to COVID-19, while ramping up the anti-Russian rhetoric to eleven.
But, back to Ukraine, because it's tied directly to all this climate change nonsense. Putin understands as well that Biden will allow every escalation in Ukraine because he's shackled by it and they need to complete the job started with the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
That means we'll see something far worse than Victoria Nuland's latest Cookie Campaign for freedom. We're going to see a war for the Donbass soon, likely right after Orthodox Easter and the end of the snow melt.
Putin tried to go directly to the people to end this destructive spiral to the bottom, because he knows where this ends.
It will be a confrontation that one side will have to commit to completely or allow it's bluff to be called. The game Biden's handlers have played to this point has been a massive escalation of rhetoric while continually moving real pieces into position for a real conflict. I just don't see cooler heads prevailing here because there is no upside for the U.S., the EU and the WEF if China and Russia stand their ground and Biden et.al. back down.
Russia has to be destroyed or subjugated if the Great Reset is to happen and Europe is to remain a relevant global player. That means control of the Black Sea, which means taking back Crimea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently reiterated publicly that Russia has had zero diplomatic contact with the European Union since the 2014 vote by Crimea to rejoin Russia.
Diplomacy is nearly over between the major powers. Biden's simple refusal to talk to Putin publicly is a major event.
In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production stays under Eurasian control as it strengthens not Atlanticist as it peaks in global power and their grand dreams wither.
Time is getting short for this to happen. Public opposition to this program is rising. It happens now or not at all.
If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy.
* * *
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Alice-the-dog 3 hours agovic and blood PREMIUM 3 hours ago
In both the current major conflicts between Russia and the US Psychopaths In Charge, Russia holds the moral high ground. In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. When the citizens of Crimea exercised their natural right of self determination and voted to return to being a part of Russia, the US called it a coup. In Syria, the US has illegally invaded a sovereign nation without that nation's sovereign government's permission or request. Russia got both. Not only does Russia hold the moral high ground, but the legal high ground as well.gmrpeabody 1 hour ago
The role reversal is complete. We are now the Evil Empire.Clint Liquor 1 hour ago
" . In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. "
They did the very same thing here...muldoon55 2 hours ago
Putin understands the Hegemon's Achilles Heel.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-china-usa-idUSKBN2BE0XHeyewillcomply 1 hour ago (Edited)
Have been for quite some time.
Marine General Smedley Butler knew his forces were being used back in the thirties to enforce American bankster interests in central and South America.chunga 3 hours ago
"We are now the Evil Empire."
As soon as we allowed the cousins of the same Bolsheviks who made Russia into a communist basket case to control our currency and thus, government, we became an "Evil Empire". It has been a slow process and hard to recognize early on. The founding principles of the United States are moral and admirable. What we have morphed into at the behest of this satanic cabal is the exact opposite of that ethos.BlindMonkey 2 hours ago (Edited)
Many people hate the US and have many very valid reasons to fight and kill all of us.jeff montanye 2 hours ago
A large swath of Americans just want to live life as a people. They harbor no ill will to other people's, we just want our space in the world respected. Of these, they also have a beef with the insane people that have got us to this point.dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited)
the u.s. government has not been mine since vietnam.chunga 2 hours ago
Funny, but look at the big picture. How could all these foreign horrors be contemplated if only a few people voted for Biden? Agree the election was stolen, but it still took a massive number of Libtards and Woketards to provide enough actual votes to make the fake votes count.
We are seeing what happens when a massive amount of Accumulated Stupid runs daily life in the US. No amount of talk will make a difference and most people don't read. Combined, this makes them impervious to common sense. Things will get worse, then much worse, before they get better. This is a big deal. Democrats are going all in at 110% effort because they know they will fail and and never get another chance if they don't take over now. Expect outrageous takeovers followed by more outrageous takeovers. We haven't seen anything yet. Expect to be Amazed.Sandmann 23 minutes ago
I'm afraid those people will not be exempt from the harmful, malicious actions of the US govt and do not deserve to be. I put myself in this category.Lordflin 2 hours ago
Most Americans are great and generous people but so were most people in the Soviet UnionJPHR 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link
You don't seriously believe we would sit on the sidelines of such a conflict...
When was the last time that happened...?
Deep State wants war... and they are now firmly in charge in a capital protected by armed troops and razor wire...Carlin was RIGHT 2 hours ago (Edited)
This article seems mistaken in treating Biden as somehow being in charge nor is this Harris.
The most concerning aspect of this fake presidency is that non-elected and not accountable people behind the scenes are running this farce.
The US always selects weak corrupt leaders as front men for their color revolutions abroad and it should not be a surprise that the color revolution at home now follows exactly that very same pattern.Sandmann 4 hours ago
It is not just the author of this article that is mistaken, it is also 95% of the murican public. What you see on your tee veee and read in media is 100% pure theatre - all agenda driven, of course.
Dumfknation will begrudgingly go along with ANYTHING tptb dictates - that has been proven beyond any doubt over the last year. So expect nothing but misery and quite possibly death for the foreseeable future, because (((they))) most certainly have NO CONCERN WHATSOEVER for you happiness and prosperity, and only seek to make the world a better place for (((them))).Craven Moorehead 3 hours ago
Much of the Hitler-Stalin War was fought in Ukraine. Ukraine was always the centre for Soviet weapons production to ensure The West stayed away.
Brzezinski set up a cat's paw which he hoped would ensnare Russia but it will destroy USA. The West kept Bandera groups funded and armed in Ukraine into 1950s. Poland wants to seize Gailicia. The simple fact is Ukrainians are emigrating for work to Poland and Turkey and Western Europe if they can get forged papers. Ukraine is dead - US wants to force West Europeans to pay transport levies to Ukraine for Russian gas instead of North Stream so Europeans fund Ukraine corruption and backfunding to US Democrats.
Russia will fight when it is ready as will China. Seems stupid to risk Atlanta or Dallas or LA or Chicago for KievBlindMonkey 2 hours ago remove link
The Soviet Union economically collapsed trying to match NATO military strength, too much of their resources and productivity were directed to military, the West effectively outspent them.
Now the tables have turned, The US may be on the road to the same fate, and the current government of morons may just bring it aboutSwmngwShrks 1 hour ago remove link
The Ukraine war might be kept under wraps solely because Russia has clearly signaled they will enter it. An attack is a suicide play for Ukraine. I don't expect this to stop the warhawks from trying but Zelensky must know this is a death trap for him. If this kicks off, expect Poland to be sacrificed to try to take Kaliningrad in retribution.Savvy 24 minutes ago
I remember being in school in 2014, in a UN class specifically, learning about how the US backed coup in the Ukraine led to them wanting to join the EU. However, as part of the treaty during the dissolution of the USSR, if any of the barrier states went to join the EU, Russia would annex Crimea, as its only warm-water port.
This is what happened, and what was executed, however it was propagandized here in the US that Russia had "invaded" Crimea. It explains why reporters on scene found the locals welcoming the Russians.
The thing is, I remember so explicitly finding this on the web, because I was surprised it was true. I read the actual treaty, and can no longer find it online, anywhere. Sigh, down the memory hole, thanks Brave New World.SoDamnMad 2 hours ago remove link
It's hard to believe the Americans could be so short sighted, but Ukraine was 'liberated' to control Russia's access to the EU market. Pretty stupid if so because that's when construction on NS2 began and Ukraine is a US quagmire now. Another shining example of US intervenyionism.deep-state-retired 3 hours ago remove link
Search for the "March of the Immortal Regiment" on Youtube and understand that if you attack either the Crimea or the Donbass you will fight seasoned soldiers as well as civilians ready to smash your face in with a shovel. Unlike the US woke crowd those that chose Russia are not willing to lay down for the corrupt private Nazi militias of Ukraine. The shipment of up-armored humvess are worthless in this fight. Half the stuff will be stolen and wind up on the black market. No more mister nice guy. "Remember, you asked for it."de tocqueville's ghost 1 hour ago (Edited)
With the successful Biden Coup and full media / tech blackout of election fraud the Globalists are ready to take on one of the last few nation states. They think like Napoleon and Hitler just kick in the door and the house will collapse. We will see.JackOliver5 3 hours ago (Edited)
the industrialized military complex and deep state stole our vote and election...they need war to survive. Biden was always their "boy"...he voted yay for every war in the last 42 years. They had to get rid of Trump...he wasn't starting any wars.
We knew Biden would start beating the war drums soon after being in the WH, and he is.Five_Black_Eyes_Intel_Agency 4 hours ago (Edited)
Luongo is not too sharp - THIS is about the energy future - NATURAL GAS !
So was the deal between Iran and China today !
Russia already has over over 1000 CNG service stations - Iran will provide CNG pipelines to China - the Rothschilds will have NO place in this NEW world !
THAT is why we are seeing what we are seeing NOW !
Time will prove that I am right !Propaganda Ripper 2 hours ago (Edited)
The psychopathic cabal loves creating frozen conflicts that they can "switch on" - such as the one in Ukraine. The only problem is that they always keep choosing losers as their friends.
The CIA and MI6 are working hard on "switching on" the Ukraine conflict, because peddling conflict is all they know. Russia will wipe the floor with them.
The world is waking up fast to the US-UK-israeli racket of depravity. The world except those pitiful vassals still stuck in the honeymoon phase with their oppressors like the EU.US Banana Republic 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link
At this point, if you are politically correct, you cheer for World War 3. What could be more normal in a world gone mad ?Oldwood 2 hours ago
Russia AND China need to make sure the US has skin in this game.
When I was IN Ukraine recently for three months a friend asked when the continental US was last involved in a real war. It was, of course, the US Civil War and that ended in 1865. The US is far removed from the people it disturbs and massacres. We have no problem singing how proud we are to be Americans because we are situated in a place that we can do anything to anybody and they can't touch us. That needs to end.
I don't know exactly how but Russia and China need to make the US pay some consequences for this ******** aggression.otschelnik 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link
When you say "US", exactly WHO are you referring?
When you say "Chinese" who are you referring.
Most people of this planet are dominated by their leadership.vasilievich 2 hours ago
Donbass is another example of a successful 'frozen conflict' tactic which the Russians use in ethnicly charged border conflicts or strategically important territories. North Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdnestr are some of the other ones. There's one big chanage in that now a lot of the residents of the Donbass region have obtained Russian passports under an expedited system, about 400,000 reportedly by the beginning of the year. Unlike US politicians Putin is not limited by time. This can go on for decades.
Russia is keeping their options open, and they're willing to withdrawl from Donbass if the region is given autonomy in Ukraine if they can keep Crimea. This is their favorite option but that's not acceptable for the Ukraine government. If that doesn't work they can go all the way and annex Donbass too and have the forces to go all the way to the Dnepr river. Ukraine can't do anything, they're too weak.
The neocon's running the Biden administration would definitely like to push Ukraine into a hot war with Russia but our NATO allies are not going to support it.otschelnik 22 minutes ago
If I may ask, how do you know what Russia is willing to do?SoDamnMad 2 hours ago
Listen to Lavrov and read between the lines.BinAnunnaki 1 hour ago remove link
"if they can keep Crimea". I stopped reading after that. The road and railway links over the Kerch Strait told me they were there for good.indus creed 30 minutes ago (Edited)
Can Putin annex Donestsk and not expect full western sanctions, esp. on energy or is that a bluff?
Will Merkel let her people freeze for Eastern Ukraine?El_Puerco 1 hour ago
At the minimum Russia will take the eastern portion and the entire southern region, thus cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea.European Monarchist 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link
MILITARY SITUATION IN EASTERN UKRAINE ON MARCH 28, 2021 (MAP UPDATE)El_Puerco 1 hour ago
Biden is just like Obama, an unsophisticated and blundering WARMONGER.European Monarchist 59 minutes ago (Edited)
Who Are the Secret Puppet-Masters Behind Biden's War?The Vel 1 hour ago
Who knows, but here is my list of likely suspects: the military industrial complex, the CIA, the deep state, Mossad, hubris, dementia, and demons.BubbaBanjo 1 hour ago remove link
I like this article. Some wonderful quotes:
' They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.' - Check
In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production - Check
If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy. - Check Mate
That's the key point of covid - it will take the US Federal Government into irrelevancy along with Dementia Joe. And all you good folks and me will get to witness this transition to irrelevance (if you don't die off from the vaxx sooner).Aquamaster 10 minutes ago
Ukraine would be very wise to find a diplomatic way to be a neutral nation and not be a pawn. Russia will take the pawn if it is played. Nothing will stop that. A pawn needs to know its role in the game.flyonmywall 23 minutes ago
Always remember, Biden did not put anyone into his administration based on qualifications. Most were picked for either their racial, sexual, or LBGTQ... bonafides. The rest were picked as paybacks for financial, and media/tech support during the campaign. Also, many are Obama retreads, and we know how poorly they performed in those eight years of the Obama reign of error.
This is going to be a horrible four years and I have no doubt that OBidens ideologues will blunder us into at least one war. Hopefully it won't be WW3.Aquamaster 7 minutes ago
The idiot-in-chief is being told by his handlers that they can win this without American boots on the ground, with cannon fodder provided by conscript Ukrainians.
When the Russians finally unleash their armor divisions, they will cut through their opposition like a hot knife through butter, while being covered by the Russian aerospace forces.
If these idiots unleash long range misiles, World War 3 will be just around the corner.QABubba 2 hours ago remove link
Indeed. We saw this exact thing happen in the ill fated Georgia conflict during the Bush presidency.Tom Green Swedish 2 hours ago
Putin is, and has been, playing a waiting game. With each year that passes the West gets weaker and Eurasia gets stronger. The goal is with deft diplomacy to stretch this period out long enough for the balance of power to become obvious.
Again, whoever thought that Russia would pay billions in transit fees to Poland and Ukraine for them to turn around and spend with Lockheed, Ratheon. etc., to buy weapons to point at Russia was an idiot. A first class idiot. The kind of idiot that will be the death of us.Victor999 1 hour ago
WIth each year Putin becomes older and weaker. He will age out, and they will fall. I don't like Russia. Who would?blumenthal 2 hours ago (Edited)
Lots of people like Russia - all over the world. And lots of people absolutely hate America - all over the world. How do you explain that? And if you knew anything about Russia, you would understand why you should fear the day that Putin finally steps down.Propaganda Ripper 2 hours ago (Edited)
In contrast to the attempted coup in Turkey, in which Erdogan acted decisively, it was a serious mistake on Yanukovich's part not to deploy the military in Ukraine. The Russians made a subsequent mistake by not marching straight into the capital Kiew. Now it will be much more difficult to control the situation in Ukraine. A further conflict will escalate very quickly, because the Russians have a lot at stake and China will not hesitate for long.......BinAnunnaki 2 hours ago remove link
Yanukovich did not deploy the military in Ukraine because he was threatened with sanctions... The result is that he almost got himself (and his family) killed. It was a very narrow escape from Kyiv.morefunthanrum 2 minutes ago
Remember this all happened while Putin was concluding a successful OlympicsTRUMP WON 2 minutes ago
Zerohedge and the Republicans are awful sympathetic to trumps buddy putin....why is that?rtb61 1 hour ago
Putin loves his country...
Biden does not.
Only a few years difference in their ages... Jesus, what a contrast.
One, sharp as a tack... the other, a urine-soaked imbecilic pedo clownGlobal Hunter 1 hour ago remove link
The Ukraine no longer seems willing to self destruct being part of Europe a lie, they should never have shot down the passenger jet, they will never be forgiven for that.
Right now the worst thing the USA could do to Russia, dump the Ukraine back on them and force Russia to pay to fix and and create chaos with regard to the Crimea.
The Ukraine is a mess and getting worse, it is a booby prize for whom ever gets stuck with it. The Ukraine even managed to say the stupidest thing they could, when they said the Crimea returned to Russia, really stuck their foot in there. Should never have said that because yes, it was stolen by a Ukrainian leader of the Soviet Union and logically at the end of the Soviet Union should have demanded it's return to Russia because soviet union evil.
The Ukraine government should have never said, the Crimea returned to Russia because they immediately lost their case in doing so.fosfor 37 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link
The pro-Soros, pro NATO Ukrainians (baby Russians) who are rebelling against their Russian brethren shot the plane down ya stooge.Let it Go 3 hours ago remove link
Many thanks to Biden and Nuland for the Russian Crimea!
Vladymyr Zhirinovsky - The division of Ukraine will take place in the near future
The flight of Viktor Yanukovych from Kiev turned out to be the most profitable option for Russia. Otherwise, one would have to spend a lot of money and be left without Crimea.
"Why didn't Yanukovych stay in Kiev? How would we take Crimea if Yanukovych stayed in Kiev? We would have thrown an army into Kiev, we would have given a lot of money, Yanukovych would have sat there and continued to rule Ukraine, and Crimea would have remained Ukrainian and died. Yanukovych played along with us. Now Biden is playing along with us. Let him continue to help the allegedly Ukrainian army. "
Zhirinovsky presented the ongoing actions as a multi-step combination for the creation of Novorossiya.
"It is beneficial for us that Biden gave the command through his Ukrainian accomplices to launch an attack on Donbass. Yes, we will crush this entire army completely, and a movement will begin towards the creation of Novorossia, the entire South-East of Ukraine, and the North - we will see. Maybe we'll come to an agreement with the Germans and the Poles, maybe we'll do a little differently there. "J J Pettigrew 3 hours ago remove link
Biden putting more weapons into the hands of those unmotivated to fight for their corrupt state is merely adding fuel to this fire and doing more harm than good. Remember Ukraine is a financially failed state and while we can point to its potential, its massive oil and gas reserves by all rights should belong to the Ukrainian people. These reserves do not belong to people like Joe and hunter Biden. More on this subject in the article below.
https://Ukraine War Is About Money Energy And Power.htmlSouthern_Boy 21 minutes ago
Recall all the "concern" that Trump might be blackmailed by those who had dirt on him...(Russia)
So what of Biden and Burisma, Ukraine, Hunter, China deals, money wired, ...??
Any stories that might be told, or withheld, on the Bidens?gzorp 24 minutes ago (Edited)
I believe living anywhere near the DC Swamp will become rather dangerous (it's probably dangerous now because of BLM/Antifa and the "woke" mobs) once the nuclear ballistic missile exchange starts. Even the big blue cities and state capitals are probably going to be targets.
The globalist elites of the Medical-Military Industrial Complex really believe the homeland is invulnerable to and will never be subjected to a real damaging attack.
Don't forget the historical wild card is Pakistan, India and Iran with nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction.
Kat Daddy 49 minutes ago (Edited)
After the nazis bounced Kennedy's brains (and your democracy) off the trunk of his limo on 11/22/63, the Right of Return side as opposed to Containment side won the argument. There would be no cooperation with the Soviet Union... Nixon (Dulles/nazi protege) used the ukrainian (Bandera faction) Romainian Iron Guard, Croation Ustashi etc . to get the ethnic vote for the Republipigs promosing right of return to their countries for the nazi collaborators given refuge here in the US. Brought into the Republipig party as an official wing of the party by HW Bush when he was chairman of the Republipig party as the "Ethnic Outreach" wing of the party. Seen the USSA returning any former nazis to Croatia or Ukraine?...
If a plebiscite is called in the Donbass, the people will vote to join the Russian Federation. Any actions taken by NATO and the Atlanticist interests will appear illegal under international law. So much for promoting democracy and humanitarian interests. There need not be a war, but I know you're secretly hoping for one.
Mar 28, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Eustachedesaintpierre , March 27, 2021 at 12:11 pm
Fortunately for me I am able to listen to podcasts & audiobooks while working to fill gaps in my portfolio, as nothing paid for available as yet. Dropped on an AB written by a Wehrmacht soldier on the Eastern front, followed by the view from a Russian soldier. I then moved on to 2 AB's which featured around 15 testimonies from German military at or close to the D-day beaches.
Something that became instantly clear was that all the combatants had very similar hopes & dreams but were motivated by each states propaganda & much harsher disciplinary measures than the Allies faced . The German cannon fodder believed that they were creating a United Europe protected from Communism & were in partnership with the French – something that was made all the easier to believe due to the friendly treatment they received from at least some of the French locals. The Ivan's on the other hand were protecting the Motherland from Fascism & as they progressed were given plenty of evidence that they were correct to do so.
It was like getting a small bubble view of groups of men in either case whose main loyalty was concentrated towards the relatively small group pf men they fought & died with. A view under a microscope totally different from the usual general view from high above when individuals are reduced to numbers with only the top brass being honoured with names.
All described various versions of Hell on Earth, gory with very little glory & one thing that really surprised me in relation to D-day & the so called " Good War " was the accounts of the use of early phosphorous weapons & the horror they inflicted on the defenders. I looked it up on Wiki but it only mentions it in relation to the bombing & I assume rocket attacks from Typhoons & the like at Cherbourg. My Great Uncle Tommy came ashore that day & unlike my Grandad he talked a lot about his war experience, which included descriptions of the black burning skeletons of German soldiers in trenches in front of shattered concrete bunkers after air strikes & what he saw as one of the the biggest threats being shrapnel, which soon got him home after his left arm was amputated after being shredded by splinters from a machine gunned tree in the Bocage – his considered opinion on war films was & is not family blogable.
The German accents are a tad Private Schultz, but fortunately for me that soon got lost in the detail.
JBird4049 , March 27, 2021 at 5:19 pm
It seems that those in charge always take what is the best in us to create the worse from us.
Eustachedesaintpierre , March 28, 2021 at 7:40 am
True, aided by everybody's low grade psychopaths that sow the bad seeds that has the rest full of hatred & thirsting for revenge.
Something else that upset me was the fate of the horses & pack mules which for both the Soviets & the Wehrmacht were the mainstay of their transportation. The Germans found that the small Steppe ponies were much tougher than their larger supposedly better bred ones – millions were killed & the Russian soldier who had worked in a mine as a youngster with pit ponies felt it deeply during the times when he witnessed the mortally wounded. He also became aware of the fate of many of the war caused stray dogs at the Russians advanced into totally shattered places like Belarus. They were rounded up & then fed under tanks for a period, before being starved then tied to a high explosive which was timed to go off at the estimated time it took for the them to run under an advancing Tiger, Panther or whatever.
Funnilly enough the biggest thing that shocked the Germans in relation to what was unloaded at D-Day was the fact that there were no horses.
Perhaps the plight of the animals is hard to take for some at least is because they were both totally blameless & innocent.
Mar 28, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
Victor999 1 hour agoMaltheus 1 hour ago
You really don't know what the hell is going on, do you! Putin is the moderating force in Russia, keeping the hardliners at bay. Once he is gone, people who aren't going to take any more **** from the US and its allies will be coming to power. Then we will see people like you piss in their pants worrying how to save themselves from Russia's fury.European Monarchist 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link
Putin is an old guy. I fear that his replacement won't have the same patience and wisdom. Or maybe I'm eagerly looking forward to it. Either way, it doesn't take much for things to get out of hand rather quickly.vasilievich 3 hours ago
President Putin is likely the healthiest leader Russia has ever had.
He is also 68, a full decade younger than Joe Biden.
I think he will be around for a while.
Vladimir Putin's hard-core daily routine includes hours of swimming, late nights, and no alcohol
Take a look at a day in the life of Vladimir Putin:
Putin rises late in the morning, taking breakfast around noon. He usually tucks into a large omelette or a big bowl of porridge, with some quail eggs and fruit juice on the side. Newsweek reports that the ingredients are "dispatched regularly from the farmland estates of the Patriarch Kirill, Russia's religious leader."
Once he's finished his meal, he drinks coffee.
Next, it's time to exercise. Newseek reported that Putin spends about two hours swimming. While he's in the water, Putin often "gets much of Russia's thinking done," Judah writes.
After he's done swimming laps, Putin lifts weights in the gym.
Opasnost. Danger. Control could be lost of the situation.
Perhaps even in Russia? Is Mr. Putin's power over the Russian military etc. limitless? I'm asking out of ignorance.
Mar 28, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com
POLLUX IGNORED 03/25/2021 at 9:18 am
Russia's crude oil export set to drop 3pc in Q2 vs Q1
Russia plans to decrease its oil exports in the second quarter 2021 despite an OPEC decision to allow the state an additional output hike from April.
On a daily basis, Russia's oil exports will drop by some 3% in April-June compared to the first quarter of 2021, Reuters calculations showed. REPLY RON PATTERSON IGNORED 03/25/2021 at 12:23 pm
And no one asked why? There is a reason for everything.
Hint: Four of the five largest fields in Russia are located in West Siberia, Samotlor, Priob, Lyantor, and Fedorov. 61% of Russian production currently comes from Western Siberia.
Russia's second-largest field, Romashkino, discovered in 1948, is located in the Volga-Ural Basin and is also in serious decline.
The five largest fields in Russia produce approximately 75% of Russian oil. And they are all in serious decline. RON PATTERSON IGNORED 03/25/2021 at 1:00 pm
I wrote, in 2015: Reserve Growth in West Siberian Oil Fields
"Russian oil production will not get any help from reserve growth in Western Siberia. Old dying fields, like old dying men do not grow."
I really don't like to brag, but I was dead on. From 2015 to 2019, Russian oil production increased by about 200,000 barrels per day per year, for a total of 800k barrels per day. That growth came from new fields in Eastern Siberia. The largest of those new fields, Vankor, peaked in 2019 at just under 500,000 barrels per day. Hell, even their new fields are starting to peak.
But those old dying fields did not grow one iota. They are all now in decline. JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 03/26/2021 at 6:14 am
And world oil production is going to skyrocket, according to IEA and EIA projections. Of course. JEAN-FRANÇOIS FLEURY IGNORED 03/28/2021 at 7:39 am
...About Brazil, the oil production will increase at most of 500 kb/d according to the post of George Kaplan. ... About Irak, they are not going to produce more oil. Indeed, after different episodes of wars, UNO sanctions, invasion by US, insurrections against US and British troops and after EI insurrection, they did extract less than half of their oil reserves.
... About Norway, by looking at the post of Georges Kaplan about current state of oil reserves and production, it seems rather unlikely that they will be able to increase significantly their oil production.
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com
Germany is showing signs of an independent Russia policy. The main issue between the United States, Europe, and Russia now is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would carry gas from Russia to Germany. The Biden Administration may impose sanctions on companies that help build it, which risks a blowup with Berlin .
Most Republicans want even sterner measures . Senator Ted Cruz is delaying confirmation of some of President Biden's officials unless he takes action.
Hostility towards Russia is one of the few issues that unite Republicans and Democrats – along with support for citizenship for illegal immigrants , interference in Syria, keeping troops in Afghanistan , and thwarting China . We can't count on Republicans or Democrats to stand up for Americans, but we can count on support for invading the world and inviting the world. This combination of an aggressive foreign policy and indifference towards citizens is why some call the current regime the Globalist American Empire (GAE). It may be based in Washington DC, but it has nothing to do with the historic American nation or its interests.
However, what I call the " American Paradox " may doom this "empire." It is run by people who seem to care nothing for the country; the empire is built on sand.
waw , says: March 25, 2021 at 9:25 pm GMT • 23.3 hours ago
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com
bayviking , says:
The sooner America collapses, the safer the rest of the world will be, excluding the Ashkenazi
Mar 26, 2021 | www.unz.com
annamaria , says: March 24, 2021 at 8:07 pm GMT • 2.0 days ago@Anonymous that a strong American military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.
Stavridis has been at the forefront of the mass slaughter known as the implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan for Eretz Israel:
From 2002 to 2004, Stavridis commanded Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, conducting combat operations in the Persian Gulf in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Stavridis "oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria." In short, this prominent racketeer is dripping with the blood of hundreds of thousands of the victims.
Mar 26, 2021 | www.youtube.com
1/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
2/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
3/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
4/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
5/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
6/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
7/7 - The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored
Mar 23, 2021 | www.unz.com
Tom Welsh , says: March 22, 2021 at 11:58 am GMT • 1.6 days agoTom Welsh , says: March 22, 2021 at 12:04 pm GMT • 1.6 days ago
"The strategic stealth bomber will be able to deliver conventional and thermonuclear weapons to enemy targets anywhere and anytime in the world. It will be able to destroy any target, anywhere".
Once it gets there, anyway – which at presumably subsonic speed may take a long, long time.
So basically this will cost a huge amount of money to do what ICBMs have been able to do for 60 years, and what Burevestnik can do with a lot more flexibility and stealth.
"Afghanistan is a great base from which to invade Central Asia and threaten Russia from the south. The country has been occupied by the US for 20 years "
If Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Iran got together and supported the Taliban, they could get the Americans out of Afghanistan double quick.
I am slightly puzzled that they haven't done so long ago.
Unless they prefer to keep the Americans tied up and bleeding in Central Asia. Keep your enemies closer, etc.
Mar 23, 2021 | www.unz.com
This uncomfortable thought came to me while listening to Joe Biden talking about "soulless killer" Vladimir Putin. Smaller insults have sparked off wars. The "Footless, yellow earth-worm" slur moved Kaa the Rock Python to devour Bandar Log. Luckily, easy-going Putin replied with a smile. He said that in his childhood, kids responded with "I am rubber, you are glue; bounces off me and sticks to you"; he only wished good health for the American president and proposed to debate him online, so that Americans and Russians, as well as the whole world, could form their own opinion. Biden evaded the challenge. It's not clear he remembered who Putin is. An empty suit with a teleprompter, called him Donald Trump Jr . Biden said Putin meddled in the US elections and he will pay a price for it. Alas, Putin couldn't influence the US dead, and they swung the elections as they voted for Biden by whole cemeteries. Yes, Biden is a senile dummy that couldn't even board Air Force One without stumbling thrice the next day, but there is somebody who operates the teleprompter, and that is the problem.
The Russians were visibly furious. When US leaders drop such invective, it's like pirates passing a 'black spot' in Treasure Island . It's a signal that the foreign leader has to be deposed or killed outright. That's how they spoke of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi; both were killed and their 'rogue states' devastated. It was clearly a show of hostile intentions, not just from Biden but also from the US establishment speaking like ventriloquist through the current White House tenant.
Afghanistan is a great base from which to invade Central Asia and threaten Russia from the south. The country has been occupied by the US for 20 years, and Trump was determined to pull out the troops. Biden has already hinted that the US will renege on its agreement with the Taliban to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. The withdrawal was supposed to be completed by May 2021; it will be "tough" for the United States to withdraw forces from Afghanistan in six weeks, he said. Biden has also scrapped Trump's plan to withdraw forces from Germany, and with good reason. His administration wants Germans to drop the Nord Stream II project, and it is easier to convince a country if you have forty military bases there.
Fighting against Iran never stopped. When the US isn't doing it her best friend Israel is acting. It has emerged that during the last two years, Israeli frogmen sabotaged 12 Iranian tankers, reported the Wall Street Journal . But it all backfired. On February 16, the entire Mediterranean coast of Israel was covered with sticky black mess.
... ... ...
The blow to Israel was terrible – animals, plants and fish died; for a long time it will be impossible to swim and sunbathe on the oily shores. Only now the sad truth has begun to leak out: 'the worst pollution of the century' had been done by Israelis. The first to speak about the source of the pollution was Israeli Minister of the Environment Gila Gamliel. She said the oil was released by the Iranian tanker Emerald carrying a cargo of US-sanctioned oil products to Syria. This is Iranian eco-terrorism, she said. But Gila was quickly gagged – the Israeli military censorship forbade discussion of this topic, except in the most general terms. It appears Gila Gamliel was right – up to a point. The Israeli dissident Richard Silverstein wrote about it:
It was a deliberate attack by Israel on the Iranian vessel. Israel's naval commando unit, Flotilla 13 covertly attached a mine to the Emerald . The intent was to cause minor damage that would send a message to Iran that its own attacks on Gulf shipping would bring a cost. This Times of London report written by Haaretz columnist Anshel Pfeiffer confirms my source. However, the commandos didn't realize that the Emerald was a rusty old hulk in desperately ill-repair. The Israeli mine, which was supposed to cause minor damage, actually ripped a hole so big that much of the contents of the ship's hold leaked into the Mediterranean. This is what caused the Israeli environmental disaster: Israel itself.
Phibbs , says: March 22, 2021 at 3:20 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
anonymous  Disclaimer , says: March 22, 2021 at 3:58 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
Biden voted for Gulf War Two. Why? Because as he admits, he is a Zionist. Zionists are traitors, terrorists and murderers. Yet Biden the terrorist accuses Putin of being a killer?
The Real World , says: March 22, 2021 at 4:37 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
The illusion of a US president having any actual authority is pretty much being dispelled by this ventriloquist's dummy Biden signing whatever is placed in front of him and parroting whatever is on the teleprompter. A stupid egotist his entire life, his mental decline isn't as apparent as it might be quite yet because he's been carefully stage managed so far. They're being extremely careful not to let the cat out of the bag in letting people get a glimpse of what he's really like. And it's downhill from here.
The virus hysteria has been a test case lab in assessing what works, what doesn't, how to improve on herding and suppressing the population, etc. Insofar as dead foreign leaders goes, who really knows?
When tens of millions of dollars are available lots of people in some leader's circle might be tempted to expose the target to some form of poisoning or lethal radiation. Hugo Chavez expressed suspicion at how he and other leaders opposed to US diktat seemed to come down with cancer.
The US itself has claimed some of it's diplomats were possibly targeted by mystery rays in Cuba so the idea of something like this is not far-fetched; it's just a case of projection, accusing others of what one is guilty of.
@PetermxTKK , says: March 22, 2021 at 4:43 am GMT • 1.9 days ago
LOL, you don't know how many times, since his campaign and now as (fake) POTUS that Biden has reminded me of Chauncey Gardiner. It's the perfect comparison.
(But, Jobotomy Xiden will be gone soon and then the bi-racial, sociopathic Hillary 2.0 will be inaugurated. Excuse me while I go hurl.)
Just another serf , says: March 22, 2021 at 6:19 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
Think of the hysteria and histrionic nation wide wailing and teeth gnashing over Trump calling it "the China virus" and the dead silence when Biden calls Putin:
A soulless killer. .
I wish Putin would take revenge and pull a Soleimani on Biden & Co. but perhaps he laughs & chalks it up to the senile, demented ramblings of a clown.
Is this more theater?
To add to the insanity, the embrace and total absolution of the pathological liar, war criminal and mass torturer and murderer, George W. Bush leaves me .stunned:
Bush on Putin, 2001:
"I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul ; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country."
Johan , says: March 22, 2021 at 6:55 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
Biden is a sociopath, one of limited intelligence. But a sociopath nevertheless.
If he is instructed by his controllers to initiate a nuclear war, he will do so unhesitatingly.
I would not be surprised if both Joe and Hunter were somehow benefiting from drug traffic across the border. Actually, I expect that is largely what is behind Biden's open border policy.
It's impossible for normal people to understand sociopathic behavior. The American political class has been selected for sociopathy now for generations.
@PetermxMulga Mumblebrain , says: March 22, 2021 at 7:16 am GMT • 1.8 days ago
"Americans should write a letter of apology to Putin, apologizing for our rude and senile leader (and the degenerate lunatics that surround him) and ask for President Putin's understanding and patience. "
Not a bad idea at all. I would formulate some things differently though, the idea is that the letter should also circulate, so mind the crude tone, show that even Americans can be tactful gentle-man. Even that would impress the whole world.
Mulga Mumblebrain , says: March 22, 2021 at 7:22 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
Thanatopia's attacks on Putin differ vastly from its deranged Sinophobia. Thanatopians want Putin gone, replaced by a New Yeltsin, and Russia vivisected for further pillage. But they don't want Russians dead, because this 'Free Russia' will be needed for the Great Purpose-the destruction of China.
The truly Evil campaign to entirely falsely accuse China of genocide in Xinjiang, is a call not just to war, but to genocide. A China devastated would still rise again, even if the USA and its villainous stooges succeed in breaking it up, again, as was nearly achieved in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The USA and the Western vassals promote, train and finance separatists in Xinjiang, Tibet, 'South' Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, even 'Manchuria'. Such civil discord would cause millions of deaths, but it gets worse.
The Imperial hatemongers never cease to vilify the CCP. The 'New Nazis', 'It is 1939 again, and 'appeasement' is treason', human organ harvesters etc. All lies, all the crudest projection. But the CCP is 100 million strong, and the Chinese CCP Government enjoys 95% satisfied or highly satisfied rating from the populace, according to the latest Harvard poll. So the entire population is complicit, 'Xi's willing executioners' etc, and must be punished. SARS CoV2 was obviously meant to kill millions of Chinese and devastate the economy, but the 'blowback' has been cosmic retribution, and that has only made the Western genocidists even more enraged.
@Johanthotmonger , says: March 22, 2021 at 7:34 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
The Western oligarchy does not do mass high kultur. Kultur is a commodity and a venue for narcissistic display and mass kultur is base, exploitative and mind-destroying, keeping the plebs permanently obtunded, morally, intellectually and spiritually. 'Feed 'em muck' as Nellie Melba recommended.
Dumbo , says: Website March 22, 2021 at 7:41 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
Worldometer/coronavirus today: Tanzania population >60 million; CV19 cases <600. Dear Scott, that cannot be correct! (If all the brainwashing serves me right.)
RIP President Magufuli, the man who busted WHO with their fraud -- or scientific incompetence. Ha. This story could have been the lead paragraph, and no stone should be left unturned to find out if Magufuli was murdered. This especially includes death by a deadly viral infection, ala Operation Zyphr ?
Minor correction: Biden does not represent the American people. Those who think they support him are unaware of their Stockholm syndrome.
Now, let's arrest our schadenfreude about Israel's acts of sabotage spoiling their own coastline. Our fragile seas are too precious for that sort of vindictive spirit. Nevertheless, it is okay be encouraged about this colossal blunder, because it proves the controllers are really not in control at all. And they damn well know it.
Finally, forget not Shere Khan totally trumps Kaa. But as fate would have it even he loses in the end.
Carlos22 , says: March 22, 2021 at 8:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
Unless neocons are insane, I don't think that they want to start a war with Russia and much less China. The U.S. can't even win a war against goat herders with homemade explosives. The U.S. military is more concerned about having black transgender soldiers than about being efficient.
Also, China practically owns the U.S. and Canada at this point.
This is probably just another distraction to keep people from noticing that they are (again!) being fleeced and raped.
GomezAdddams , says: March 22, 2021 at 9:39 am GMT • 1.7 days ago
It now appears the Russians and Chinese are using our woke BS against us like a deflector shield.
Putin's speech of the US projecting its own psychology on others, mentioning BLM and racism plus the Chinese mentioning the US "persecution of blacks".
They inflict this woke shit on us but didn't realize it could also be used by their enemies.
Ultimate blow back for the dumb fuckers in Washington. Totally hilarious.
@Johanonebornfree , says: Website March 22, 2021 at 9:42 am GMT • 1.6 days ago
"We came -- we saw–he died !!!!" Hillary Clinton at her finest.
Alfred , says: March 22, 2021 at 10:25 am GMT • 1.6 days ago
"This two-pronged attack on Russia AND on China is not a coincidence. The Biden regime prepares for war. "
This just in: "War is the health of the state" Randolph Bourne
I fear that Leviathan must act quickly before it loses its perch as the world's reserve currency.
Martin Armstrong's computer model says that the dollar's reserve currency status will be over by 2028. The model is usually correct.
The Reserve Status of the Dollar will End by 2028 (paywall)
Mar 23, 2021 | www.unz.com
People are all too vulnerable in the Righteous Empire. The enforcers of right attitudes can do with you anything, anything at all. A scientist who kept quiet when he heard the word n< > being uttered, has lost his job . A man, Robert Hoogland, has been sent to jail for calling his 14-year-old daughter, "daughter", and publicly referring to her with the pronouns "she" and "her", while the girl still isn't allowed yet to buy beer insists she will be a man. Add to that the misery created by lockdowns, and you will understand why thousands of Russian émigrés rush back into Mother Russia.
Since 1980s, Russians considered themselves lucky if they could escape their frosty homeland and move westward. The children of Stalin and Khrushchev, top government figures of Yeltsin days, artists and scientists, moved to Florida or Paris. They were always ready to condemn Putin the brutal dictator. A popular film actor Mr Alexei Serebryakov had left Russia for Canada, angrily slamming the door, condemning the "bloody regime" and Russia's "mix of strength, arrogance and rudeness". And suddenly – the wind had changed, and the reverse drift has begun. Serebryakov returned from Canada, though many Russians aren't welcoming his move back at all. A science journalist Asya Kazantseva returned to Moscow from Tel Aviv and Bristol, UK and wrote:
An unexpected collateral effect of the pandemic is that all the friends who immigrated to Europe a long time ago flocked home to spend the winter here in Moscow, where vaccines are free and available, and there is no lockdown. Social life here is twice as active as it was in peacetime. I will never be lonely again! [A popular Jewish blogger] Alina Farkash recently wrote that in Moscow, you are a beloved child in a large family, while emigration [in her case to Israel] is like being sent to an orphanage. That's all true. I really hope that I will never go anywhere else, that I will always be here, and that I will firmly remember what an endless happiness it is just to be here."
Indeed, Russia is not a wonderland; it has many faults and problems. Its oligarchs are too rich, its people are rather poor; taxes are too low; the social gap is greater than in the US or China, as you can read in this text (in Russian) . However, Russia is free. You can say and write whatever you wish. There are no lockdowns. Schools operate as usual; distance learning is rare. Churches are open. Theatres, ditto. There are no obligatory masks; where they are obligatory, the Russians still ignore them.
Mar 22, 2021 | daniellarison.substack.com
The Russian government is responding angrily to Biden's derisive comments about Putin:
The Kremlin has reacted angrily to US President Joe Biden's remarks that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is "a killer," calling the comment unprecedented and describing the relationship between the two countries as "very bad."
U.S.-Russian relations have been deteriorating steadily over the last ten years, and it always seemed unlikely that Biden would improve them. Now there will be even less of a chance that Biden can work constructively with his Russian counterpart. The president's blunt answer to a rather silly question from George Stephanopoulos has further damaged the relationship to neither country's benefit. Anatol Lieven observed recently that this is a "completely unnecessary confrontation with Russia" at a time when the U.S. needs Russian cooperation on some important issues. Lieven cites U.S. reentry into the JCPOA and extricating U.S. forces from Afghanistan as his examples of issues where Russian cooperation could be very valuable, but he could have added new negotiations on future arms control agreements as well. Making progress on any one of these becomes much more challenging when our president is gratuitously insulting theirs. For an administration that prides itself on practicing diplomacy, they have a funny way of showing it.
Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Mar 21 2021 16:06 utc | 14
The Joseph Biden administration has named Richard Nephew as its deputy Iran envoy. As the former principal deputy coordinator of sanctions policy for Barack Obama's State Department, Nephew took personal credit for depriving Iranians of food, sabotaging their automobile industry, and driving up unemployment rates.
Nephew has described the destruction of Iran's economy as "a tremendous success," and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country's capital despite mounting US sanctions.
Nephew's appointment to a senior diplomatic post suggests that rather than immediately returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal, the Biden administration will finesse sanctions illegally imposed by Trump to pressure Iran into an onerous, reworked agreement that Tehran is unlikely to join.
jayc , Mar 21 2021 17:56 utc | 23farm ecologist , Mar 21 2021 18:10 utc | 25
Grayzone's report is fascinating in a "banality of evil" kind of way.
Nephew's "simple framework" for "sanctions to perform their expected function" reads like a torturer's manual (replace "target state" with "prisoner"):
- identify objectives for the imposition of pain and define the minimum necessary remedial steps that the target state must take for pain to be removed
- understand as much as possible the nature of the target, including its vulnerabilities, interests, commitment to whatever it did to prompt sanctions, and readiness to absorb pain
-develop a strategy to carefully, methodically, and efficiently increase pain on those areas that are vulnerabilities while avoiding those that are not
-monitor the execution of the strategy and continuously recalibrate its initial assumption of target state resolve, the efficacy of the pain applied in shattering that resolve, and how best to improve the strategy
Kudos to Alan Macleod and MintPressNews (cited above by b) for providing further evidence of how the US and its allies don't care about human suffering and death as long as they are able to further their political goals. A previous article in this series uncovers this striking bit of disregard for human life in the 2020 Annual Report of the US Department of Health (sic) and Human Services:
Combatting malign influences in the Americas: OGA (Office of Global Affairs) used diplomatic relations in the Americas region to mitigate efforts by states, including Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, who are working to increase their influence in the region to the detriment of US safety and security. OGA coordinated with other U.S. government agencies to strengthen diplomatic ties and offer technical and humanitarian assistance to dissuade countries in the region from accepting aid from these ill intentioned states. Examples include using OGA's Health Attaché office to persuade Brazil to reject the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, and offering CDC technical assistance in lieu of Panama accepting an offer of Cuban doctors.
Translation: Deaths in Brazil are skyrocketing, but at least we prevented them from using that damned Russian vaccine.
Mar 22, 2021 | abcnews.go.com
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Director of National Intelligence came out with a report today saying that Vladimir Putin authorized operations during the election to under -- denigrate you, support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society. What price must he pay?
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we -- I know him relatively well. And I-- the conversation started off, I said, "I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared."
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You said you know he doesn't have a soul.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I did say that to him, yes. And -- and his response was, "We understand one another." It was-- I wasn't being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that -- that's how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, "I looked in his eyes and saw his soul."
I said, "Looked in your eyes and I don't think you have a soul." And looked back and he said, "We understand each other." Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I've dealt with an awful lot of 'em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don't expect somethin' that you're-- that -- don't expect him to-- or her to-- voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he's a killer?
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Uh-huh. I do.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So what price must he pay?
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The price he's gonna pay we'll-- you'll see shortly. I'm not gonna-- there's-- by the way, we oughta be able that ol' -- that trite expression "walk and chew gum at the same time," there're places where it's in our mutual interest to work together.
That's why I renewed the start agreement with him. That occurred while he's doin' this. But that's overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity, that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange. But that and SolarWinds as well. He's been -- they've done some mischievous things, to say the least. And so we're gonna have -- I'm not gonna announce what I'm doing, but he's gonna understand that --
Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Francis , Mar 21 2021 13:19 utc | 1
I don't know whether to laugh or cry ...
Vladimir Putin issues new 'kill list' - and six of the targets live in Britain
EXCLUSIVE: The warning of a deadly post-pandemic campaign comes from same spy who alerted that Salisbury novichok victim Sergei Skripal was earmarked for assassination
Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
foolisholdman , Mar 21 2021 19:14 utc | 36
Has anyone else noticed this piece of idiocy?SAS ORDERED TO START DISRUPTING RUSSIAN MEDDLING AROUND THE WORLD
(Headline in the Daily Telegraph)
SAS soldiers will be told to disrupt Russian meddling around the world as part of a major shake up of defence priorities.
The SAS and other units in the Special Forces Group will likely work alongside MI6 to conduct covert surveillance operations against Russian spies and military units.
Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, the chief of the general staff, told The Telegraph that special forces will be tasked with tackling "hostile state actors".
The move comes ahead of the publication of the Defence Command Paper, the MoD's contribution to the Government's Integrated Review of foreign, defence, security and development policy, which will be published on Monday.
How can one interpret this except as an attempt to curry favour in Washington? Why now? Presumably, because the USG has just said that it is focussing on Russia. Even if this is a policy shift why announce it? This is the sort of information that, (You might think!) discovered and passed to the Russian Embassy would get you locked up for a long time! If this has any effect, I imagine it would be that if/when the Russians come across any unexplained Brits in (say) Syria, they will KNOW what they are there for and will deal with them accordingly. A more poodle-like action is hard to imagine.
Fyi , Mar 21 2021 19:35 utc | 38migueljose , Mar 21 2021 19:41 utc | 39
The Five Eyes are servants of polities that are dominated by the English-speaking White Judeo-Christians.
3 of them - Canada, Australia, New Zealand - are military protectorates of the American wing of the Judeo-Christians.
As a practitioner of permaculture I look for patterns, including power constructs of the U.S./5 eyes mafia. Here's one.
Look at Luis Almagro, enthusiastic mouthpiece and cheerleader for the U.S. empire. Now look at NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. They could be brothers or cousins judging their resumes and history of kissing the rings of powerful mafiosos. Norwegian has already given us a summary of how Stoltenberg "failed up" and Almagro's history is similar. He's most known lately for being the screamer who triggered the coup in Bolivia over a year ago.He didn't ask for my advice. I'd have told him: "run away and hide!" He's still in the limelight as he once again stepped up to call for Jeanine Añez's release from jail for her crimes during the nazi/keystone (cops) reign of terror. Bolivia is responding much like the Russians, Chinese and Iranians: they are standing firm AND now considering prosecuting Almagro!
To me, it is like Almagro is walking around naked and trying to act as if he has clothes on. Almagro is similar to Kamala in that his own people in Uruaguay don't like him: national hero and former Tupac Amaru revolutionary hero before he became president Jose Mujica canceled Almagro. He snuggled up to Pompeo and now seamlessly genuflects before... pick a name: Blinken, Kamala, Colombian born frat boy Juan Gonzalez. Fear of the U.S. is diminishing. Same in Ecuador. Alliances are growing stronger--Venezuela and Iran are a shining example of the way forward. They are not hiding their actions... they are BRAGGING about them! https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/15133
Bottom line-- obvious dimwit psychopaths Elliot Abrams and Pompeo are gone, replaced by new guys who are not that bright but they think they are while they are losing the only leverage left: threats. No one likes them and no one fears them. China and Russia's smackdowns will resonate throughout Latin America. Alliances will grow at an increasingly rapid pace. Meanwhile, watch the Ecuador election results April 11. Arauz is strong and gaining more, the people there are getting more mobilized. another game changer in South America.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Mar 21 2021 3:55 utc | 181
Blinken, like his boss, is a complete moron. He blew it with his patronising threatening 'rules based order' drivel because he has no expertise. Blinken has been doing this for a decade or two: Syria, Libya, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, and on and on. He has the form of a killer, the mind of a killer and the intentions of a mass murderer. He has proven the latter and is the type of global ambassadorial psychopath that one should meet with once and then never meet again.
The USA has lost its mind and every day that passes proves that point.
This bar deserves broader analysis of other quarters of the planet and no more references to the Guardian or NYT.
Mao , Mar 21 2021 5:58 utc | 186Mao , Mar 21 2021 5:58 utc | 187
Three Takeaways from China-U.S. Alaska Meeting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NszIE48KE_Ycurmudgeon , Mar 21 2021 6:52 utc | 190
Posted by: willie | Mar 20 2021 15:31 utc | 116
A majority of american ambassadors are rich businessmen and women,who have not the slightest idea what diplomacy is about.
Stop Letting Rich People Buy Ambassadorships
President Biden could score a quick win by dismantling the donor-to-ambassador pipeline.
Biden under pressure to tap fewer political ambassadors than Trump, Obama
Donors are growing impatient as Biden delays naming coveted ambassador posts.
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/15/biden-political-ambassadors-476050oldhippie , Mar 21 2021 7:25 utc | 192I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.
The author provides basic but essential definition of conflict resolution. The USians either don't understand or defy it.
James @ 170
Your link to statement by Blinken & Sullivan is propaganda as you say. It is also an expression of how deeply limited and very stupid these two are. They have no idea what just hit them.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Mar 20 2021 0:11 utc | 68
I'm in the middle of Armstrong's essay and am at the first reference to Kagan's vision:
"What should that role be? Benevolent global hegemony. Having defeated the 'evil empire,' the United States enjoys strategic and ideological predominance. The first objective of U.S. foreign policy should be to preserve and enhance that predominance by strengthening America's security, supporting its friends, advancing its interests, and standing up for its principles around the world .'
It's absolutely clear that Kagan has no clue as to the reality of what is actually the objective of the Neoliberal Parasites running the Outlaw US Empire; for aside from "advancing its interests," the Parasites have zero motivation to do any of that as their sole ambition/goal is to vacuum up all the wealth they can and leave a shell just as they planned and failed with Russia, but have succeeded elsewhere. And as for principles, the reality is it has none, nor does it have any friends, just vassals and victims. This analogy by Armstrong's excellent:
"The U.S. is sitting on a dragon and it daren't get off or the dragon will kill it. But because it can't kill the dragon, it must sit on it forever: no escape. And dragon's eggs are hatching out all around: think how much bigger the Russian, Chinese and Iranian dragons are today than they were a quarter-century ago when Kagan & Co so confidently started PNAC; think how bigger they'll be in another....
"But the more sanctions, the stronger Russia gets: as an analogy, think of sanctions on Russia as similar to the over-use of antibiotics – Russia is becoming immune."
And tying it all up is this excellent summation:
"Has there ever been a subject on which people have been so wrong for so long as Russia? How many times have they said Putin's finished? Remember when cheese was going to bring him down? Always a terminal economic crisis. A year ago they were sure COVID would do it. A U.S. general is in Ukraine and Kiev's heavy weapons are moving east but, no, it's Putin who, for ego reasons – and his "failing" economy – wants the war. Why do they keep doing it? Well, it's easy money – Putin (did we tell you he was in the KGB?) wants to expand Russia and rule forever; therefore, he's about to invade somebody. He doesn't, no problem, our timely warning scared him off; we'll change the date and regurgitate it next year. In the meantime his despotic rule trembles because of some-triviality-of-the-moment. These pieces write themselves: the anti-Russia business is the easiest scam ever. And there's the difficulty of admitting you're wrong: how can somebody like Kagan, such a triumphantasiser back then, admit that it's all turned to dust and worse, turned to dust because they took his advice? Much better to press on – it's not as if anybody in the lügenpresse will call him out or deny him space. Finally, these people are locked in psychological projection: because they can only envisage military expansion, they assume the other guy is equally obsessed and so they must expand to counter his expansion. They suspect everybody of suspecting them. Their hostility sees hostility everywhere. Their belligerence finds belligerence. The hyperpower is forever compelled to respond to lesser powers. They look outside, see themselves and fear; in their mental universe the USA is arrogantly strong and fearfully weak at the same time."
The Walking Dead is finally becoming a metaphor for the Outlaw US Empire, its policies, and what it terms values--which aren't values but vices. But TWD was fiction and was thus capable of reforming itself. The Empire's goals and polices are essentially the same as in 1940 and even further back to 1913, and haven't changed very much, being just as illegal and immoral then as now. What's different are the "Dragons" which didn't exist in 1918 or 1944, and the Parasites have almost total control that's finally seeing domestic pushback.
Jackrabbit , Mar 20 2021 2:17 utc | 87
karlof1 @Mar20 0:11 #67It's absolutely clear that Kagan has no clue as to the reality of what is actually the objective of the Neoliberal Parasites running the Outlaw US Empire.
Why do you give him the benefit of the doubt?
Are we really to believe that Kagan, and others like him, talk of these things for DECADES and yet aren't aware of the ramifications?
IMO it is absolutely clear that he knows the neoliberal reality as well as the neocon and neocolonial realities.
But we are supposed to avoid cynicism and be polite so as to not be thought a malcontent?
@karlof1 The need for more cynicism is a theme of mine (which I've written about at moa many times) so please don't respond in a knee-jerk way.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Mar 20 2021 0:44 utc | 77
The Alaska talks have ended and the Global Times Editor writes :
"China and the US are two major world powers. No matter how many disputes they have, the two countries should not impulsively break their relations. Coexistence and cooperation are the only options for China and the US. Whether we like it or not, the two countries should learn to patiently explore mutual compromises and pursue strategic win-win cooperation ." [My Emphasis]
The big question: Does the Outlaw US Empire possess enough wisdom to act in that manner.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Mar 19 2021 21:51 utc | 45
Well, the Outlaw US Empire team just got sacked three straight times and must now punt. Sophomoric attempts to twist Putin's words won't work. I highly suggest reading the entire Kremlin transcript b cited and I relink as it dovetails with Putin's speech at the anniversary celebration I cited and relink . Furthermore, in the area of historical research being undertaken in Russia to ensure historical events are recounted accurately, there's this current effort dealing with The Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921 and The 1921 Treaty of Riga. Putin is speaking:
"Two states striving to achieve ambitious goals confronted each other during the Polish-Soviet War. Polish leaders perceived the reinstatement of the old-time borders of Rzeczpospolita as their task. Bolshevik leaders dreamed of a world revolution. The Polish Army's offensive on the Belarusian and Ukrainian Soviet republics, linked with Soviet Russia by allied agreements, preceded fighting at the approaches to Warsaw in August 1920. I would like to recall that Polish forces had seized most of Belarus and all of Western Ukraine by late 1919, and that they and their allies, commanded by Symon Petlyura, had entered Kiev on May 7, 1920.
"Signed in Riga on March 18, 1921, the treaty touched upon territorial issues and was therefore largely similar to the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. Today, we can see that the then re-division of Europe, the often arbitrary and unfair demarcation of borders had stepped up confrontation between states and helped create conditions for a new world war.
"The Soviet side was forced to agree with the fact that Poland had established control over 50 percent of modern Belarus' territory and 25 percent of modern Ukraine. The transfer of Belarusian and Ukrainian territories to another state did not meet the then ethnic, cultural or social realities. On the one hand, it facilitated discrimination against the local population; and, on the other hand, it helped encourage extreme nationalist ideas. We also recall the tragic fate of the Red Army soldiers who were taken prisoner; many of them perished in Polish camps."
As with earlier Great Patriotic War exhibitions, this exhibition has numerous aspects as described below that will surely interest other historians:
"The historical documentary exhibition The Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921. The Treaty of Riga 1921, dedicated to the armed confrontation between Soviet Russia and Poland and the resolution of the conflict by diplomatic means opened on March 16 in Moscow. It displays historical documents from the holdings of the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, the Russian State Military Archive, the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Modern History and other federal archives, the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Federation and the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Empire, contributed by the Foreign Ministry's Department of History and Records, the Archive of the President of the Russian Federation and state archives of Belarus. The exhibition also features unique museum items, sound recordings and newsreels. An internet project with full-length electronic copies of over 1,000 archive documents is also part of the exhibition."
Here's the link to that project .
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Grieved , Mar 21 2021 16:13 utc | 225
That's a lovely little compilation about Putin and his family, thanks.
The narrative says that Putin's mother survived the siege of Leningrad, but it doesn't go into the details. You can get the story from one of the several Russian documentaries about Putin - I forget which one but I could dig for it if pressed.
Putin's father came back from the front, wounded and on crutches. He showed up just as medics were taking his wife out to whatever transport they were using to clean up the dead bodies - she was practically dead, and the witness to this says she was "washed up". Putin's father fought the medics away with his crutches and took his wife back into their home, and nursed her back to life.
Thus runs the story, and this is the woman who later gave birth to Putin, already with two brothers dead that he never knew. It sounds exaggerated when I write out the story like that, but I never disbelieved it when I heard it, and I still don't.
So this is the depth of the man who heads the Russian Federation. Personally touched by war, personally grieving for the losses of Russia, personally committed to the safety of civilians and to minimal death in general.
While I'm on the subject, two other stories occur to me. One was when he first took command of Russia and addressed the war in the Caucasus - his famous episode with his military commanders in the tent, when he said they would not drink to success until they had achieved it (I paraphrase), and put his glass down untouched. To drink prematurely, he said, would be to dishonor all those who had already died in this war. First, to stop the dying.
But the story I wanted to say about that was that he also forcefully told his generals to be very careful how they conducted operations: they were entering places where civilians lived - old people, those who had fought in the Great Patriotic War, those to whom everyone present owed their lives. He was very serious about taking great care not to harm those most honorable people.
The second story is when the Berlin Wall went down, and crowds surged to invade the Stasi building, ripping its secrets into the open. They also came to the KGB building. The chief of that bureau fled, leaving by the back way. That left Putin as next in command. He went down to address the crowd. He stood in front of them and they asked who he was and he lied and said that he was "the interpreter". He said that this building was the property of the USSR. In his gun he had twelve bullets, he said, eleven for those whom he faced and the last for himself. The crowd understood that this building was not East Germany but the Soviet Union, and that this officer would defend it with his life. Whatever they thought, they turned away and left the building unmolested.
I'm impressed with the character and caliber of this human being called Putin, for good reasons, I find. There's a heroic scale to him that comes from Russia itself and the experiences that Putin was born into and from. And yet he personally is a naturally modest man. He bears that heroic dimension of scale with the grace that comes from ordinariness. He loves ordinary people. He renews his own mental health from being in their company. The security state of Russia chose the best person it could find, in a last-ditch attempt to save their country. It worked.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Lurk , Mar 19 2021 19:23 utc | 4
The 'western' media reporting of the spat between Biden and Putin is typically bad.The Guardian @guardian - 18:15 UTC · Mar 18, 2021
'Takes one to know one': Putin-Biden spat escalates over 'killer' accusation
That was not what Putin had said:Ivan Pentchoukov @IvanPentchoukov - 16:56 UTC · Mar 19, 2021
Can't believe how many outlets are running with the same totally false translation of what Putin said.
The idiom Putin used is much closer to "the names you call others is what you should be called."
The official Kremlin transcript agrees with Ivan's formulation:[D]ifficult, dramatic, and bloody events abound in the history of every nation and every state. But when we evaluate other people, or even other states and nations, we are always facing a mirror, we always see ourselves in the reflection, because we project our inner selves onto the other person.
You know, I remember when we were children and played in the yard, we had arguments occasionally and we used to say: whatever you call me is what you are called yourself. This is no coincidence or just a kids' saying or joke. It has a very deep psychological undercurrent. We always see ourselves in another person and think that he or she is just like us, and evaluate the other person's actions based on our own outlook on life.
There is an additional passage of interest which sets out rules for future talks that I have not seen reported in 'western' media:I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.
We, with our national interests in mind, will promote our relations with all countries, including the United States.
The 'takes one to know one' quote is not a direct quote from Putin, it is a claim by Biden.
Here is the Daily Beast's take on it. (Yeah, I know it's a ridiculous source, but it was the first source I found that correctly attributed that quote to Biden.)Biden recalled: "We had a long talk, he and I, when we... I know him relatively well. And the conversation started off, I said, 'I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.'"
The president also confirmed that, some years ago, he was alone with Putin in his office and he brought up the topic of Putin's lack of a human soul. "I said, 'I looked in your eyes and I don't think you have a soul,' and he looked back and said, 'We understand each other.' The most important thing of dealing with foreign leaders... is just know the other guy."
Kapusta , Mar 19 2021 19:39 utc | 8tucenz , Mar 19 2021 19:48 utc | 11
@ 6 Posted by: Peter Moritz
The Guardian's translation of "it takes one to know one," which has been amplified by western media and social media, is absolutely incorrect. It implies that Putin is admitting that he is a 'killer,' which he absolutely does not do. Anybody that has a working knowledge of Russian will be able to translate the saying that Putin uses to mean that he is suggesting that Biden is projecting. In fact, Putin provides context for this statement by referring to US History.Kapusta , Mar 19 2021 20:38 utc | 30
Re: Peter Moritz | Mar 19 2021 19:29 utc | 6
I say bullshit. "It takes one to know one" - suggests some equivalence for the two people. That meaning is not in Kremlin transcript of Putin's words. Putin is saying "you are projecting (your own problem)".Norwegian , Mar 19 2021 20:44 utc | 32
@ 24 Posted by: Peter Moritz
I understand that this is just semantics, but something as widespread as this has become in western media can have a big impact on perception of lazy westerners if the interpretation is incorrect. This should be obvious, regardless of the supposed "elegance" of the phrase.
"Takes one to know one" does not imply projection, it rather implies hypocrisy. Putin is not accusing Biden of hypocrisy, he is accusing Biden of projection. "Takes one to know one" gives a western audience the suggestion that Putin qualifies an admission of being a killer with an accusation that Biden is also a killer. Putin, in fact, does not do this. He only suggests that Biden is projecting and only projecting.alaff , Mar 19 2021 20:44 utc | 33
@Kapusta 8, 29
Thank you for the explanations and clarification of what Putin actually said, and what it implies. Facts matter.LeaNder , Mar 19 2021 21:04 utc | 37in a shabby Alaskan hotel
Minister Lavrov today confirmed Putin's words, saying " [We] will be ready to cooperate only in those areas that are of interest to us, and only on terms that are beneficial to us ".
In my opinion, the Chinese representatives gave a good answer to the American side, although this answer will obviously not be heard.
The Americans have completely lost the culture of negotiation. If there are no elementary human manners, then what kind of agreements can we talk about?
A sad picture. And dangerous. A madman with nuclear weapons (and chemical weapons, by the way) is not the best option for a reliable negotiating partner.Powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 21:31 utc | 41
...a few hints on Putin's comment.
https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2021/03/18/on-a-roll/comment-page-1/#comment-37067karlof1 , Mar 19 2021 23:15 utc | 61
For Pres Putin's EXACT words.
His words about the moral attributes of the US elites - he very carefully excludes the public are MUCH more significant!vetinLA , Mar 19 2021 23:37 utc | 64
The editors at Strategic-Culture see it this way :
"In a desperate bid to thwart the strategic partnership between Russia and Europe, Washington is resorting to ever-more frantic threats of sanctions and other disruptive measures. Biden is playing the personal insult card in a gambit for blowing up bilateral relations with Russia as a way to sabotage Nord Stream 2.
"It's a pathetic move, one that actually speaks more of America's historic enfeeblement rather than pretensions of power. Russia would do well to stay calm and let the Americans make fools of themselves."
It seems Russia's doing just that--attending to the vital business of developing its nation and peoples. Russia's geared for numerous patriotic celebrations throughout the year, and Biden's comments were made on the eve of Crimean reunification with Russia, which only served to cement Russians closer and hold Putin in even greater esteem. Talk about an Own Goal!
Outlaw US Empire Nord Stream policy is close to being the same as literally torpedoing it, making it an act of war against the EU and Russia. Somehow, I don't think Blinken understands that fundamental fact.bevin , Mar 20 2021 16:58 utc | 123
"I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us. They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this."
This statement is a positive, that is the mark of a government that adheres to real values, beneficial to the growth of humanity, and not just for the enrichment of a greedy minority of it's citizens.
How utterly refreshing....Boogity , Mar 20 2021 19:42 utc | 142
The most peculiar aspect of Biden's outburst is its timing.
If there was one moment in time when it would be ill advised for even the most brass necked, cynical American exceptionalist not to restrain himself from accusing anyone of murder, it would have to be that moment in which the bulkiest object in the "Out" tray on the Presidential desk happened to be a crude coffin like box containing the butchered remains of the Washington Post journalist and long established CIA asset Adnan Khashoggi.
Now there was the victim of a killer, the Crown Prince, acting with the permission of the US government and in the spirit of the Deep State which put Joe Biden in office.
Joe was perhaps thinking of Khashoggi-a beltway denizen he must have run into in one of the cocktail parties or brothels on the circuit- when he murmured admiringly, to himself, blissfully unaware of the presence of George Stephanopolous- one of the grande horizontales of American culture- and the TV camera, "That guy, whatsisname, the one from whatsitcalled, Russia, is a killer."
Though of course he's not in Obama's league.Carver , Mar 20 2021 20:09 utc | 145
Putin fell into a trap. He should have not said a damn thing after Biden spouted off about him being a killer. The western MSM on both sides of the Pond are now running with the incorrect translation and narrative that Putin admitted to being a killer. The western MSM is now also claiming that Putin's wishing Biden good health means he's threatening to poison him.
Putin should have heeded Mark Twain's wise words:
"Don't wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it."Carver , Mar 20 2021 20:24 utc | 146
The western media was captured many years ago and serves only its propaganda business model.
America is number one instigator and developer of conflict across the entire planet and is increasingly unworthy of anyones trust or respect.Bernard F. , Mar 20 2021 22:51 utc | 155
The US media has degenerated into a slave to the propaganda business model that it has chosen to adopt.
The US is the Number One instigator and manipulator of conflict across the planet and is unworthy of anyones trust or respect. The American way defines all that is devious and corrupt.
None of this is new. There was some disruption for a few years recently, but now that all obstacles are permanently neutered the destruction of the future for personal gain can get back into top gear once again.Grieved , Mar 21 2021 0:31 utc | 169
@Boogity | Mar 20 2021 19:42 utc | 141, and others Barflies...
Putin don't wrestle with the pig.
1) as b., and thanks for his Job, all of us must go to the original and extensive version. MSM and chats are narrative tools reducing and calibrating our souls.
2) with regards to China and Russia stay tune about context
3) be careful about "translation".
For this "WWE double smackdown" you must read here:
To Biden as an old man, Putin just wish him Good health.
"I would say "stay healthy." [... ] I am saying this without irony or tongue in cheek."
But "secondly, taking a broader approach to this matter"
"to the US establishment, the ruling class – not the American people who are mostly honest, decent and sincere people who want to live in peace and friendship with us", he said something like [you are not qualified to speak to Russia from a position of strength]
their mindset [of US ruling class] was formed in rather challenging circumstances which we are all aware of. After all, the colonisation of the American continent by the Europeans went hand-in-hand with the extermination of the local people, the genocide, as they say today, outright genocide of the Indian tribes followed by a very tough, long and difficult period of slavery , a very cruel period. All of that has been part of life in America throughout the history of the United States to this day. Otherwise, where would the Black Lives Matter movement come from? To this day, African Americans face injustice and even extermination.
The ruling class of the United States tends to address domestic and foreign policy issues based on these assumptions. After all, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons , mind you, against a non-nuclear state – Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW II. There was absolutely no military need for the bombing. It was nothing but the extermination of civilians.
I am bringing this up, because I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms. Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code. But we know how to uphold our interets .
despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults. They will have to reckon with this.
We, with our national interests in mind, will promote our relations with all countries"
And he said that on March 18th, 7th anniversary of Crimea reuniting to Russia.
The next Day in Anchorage
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218870.shtml and scroll....
Yang Jiechi stated China's position at his opening remarks, saying China hopes this dialogue is sincere and honest.
Opening remarks were for 8mn (4x2mn),
But after Yang Jiechi spoke Blinken broke protocole agrement, recall journalists in order to show is strength. They came to 90mn press conference.
Strength was on chinese side:
"we thought the US would follow the necessary diplomatic protocol In front of the Chinese side, the US side is not qualified to speak to China from a position of strength"
"the US must focus on its own human rights issues -- like the Black Lives Matter movement -- and not meddle in the country's internal affairs "
Putin's elaboration of the history and founding culture of the USA was brilliantly well done, I thought. As an academic lesson it could hardly be more concise, nor more penetrating and accurate.
He was speaking to his home constituency of Russia, but he was well aware that the whole world would listen. The so-called Global South listens to these words for the same reason we do, to know what has now been said out loud and thus can now be referenced in future discussions and in future geopolitical positions and stances.
In this sense, all of these words, and words like them, are strength to the backbone of the world. It clarifies what Russia is now prepared to say out loud, and it suggests very clearly where a lesser nation might stand, perhaps, and even solicit the support of Russia - at the UN or in diplomacy at least, if not with S-400s.
And so as these words are sent out into the real world as things that can now be "noticed", to use the judicial sense of the word, the growing world alliance coheres around these words, and the world changes in its global attitude.
Those who believe that none of this matters - and this would obviously include the ruling class of the US, described so perfectly by Putin - are in for a shock.
I can't easily demonstrate how greatly these words matter, other than to remind us how things used to look half a dozen years ago, when the US was such an ogre, and how things look now, when the US is more literally a dotard than ever before, and when the fear of challenging the US is beginning to disappear from the world, overcome by disgust.
These are dangerous times - for the US. Being described accurately is a small step from being in someone's cross-hairs.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Oriental Voice , Mar 20 2021 0:35 utc | 76
@Posted by: Grieved | Mar 19 2021 23:05 utc | 55:
...., the US neurotic dynamic is to escalate blindly until it achieves control. This is the dynamic that must be defeated.
Yes that's problem all right, but can you ever defeat that dynamic given that the gorilla owns 10,000 nukes and has no moral qualms whatsoever of using them? Until a near perfect anti-nuke defense system is developed I surmise the world would just have to live with, and get used to, the juvenile antics of King Kong because it has stated time and again it would escalate all the way up to using its nukes, because that's what they are for according to a former Sec. of State.
I'm a pessimist on this issue. I'm afraid we'll just have to endure and live with a wild beast for a while to come.
Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
xototox , Mar 20 2021 0:34 utc | 75
i've been a reader of moa for quite a few years now, but never contributed to the forum. mostly because after a while i found what i wanted to say anyway, and why pile on?
I really enjoy the civility of the forum, and it's internationality. And of course b's insights. as a German myself I share many points of view with him in matters i have knowledge in, or think that i do.
For example i think that trump sure might be seen as a disaster by many, but it was a gift to Europe, and Germany in particular, because he opened the eyes of many, many people here who for decades thought murrica is our friend, our big brother, who will always protect us from the evil of the world - namely communism, Russia and lately china. a majority of the people here, as well as in the rest of the so called "western world" have been brainwashed for about 7 decades to think that way, even when America committed the most obvious, heinous, horrible crimes against humanity and our civilization as a whole.
there was always a spin, "human rights", "democracy", "free trade" and so on, values that had to be "defended" - when in reality it was always an offensive aggression or even a "pre-emptive strike". people just swallowed what the media fed them and went on with their daily chores.
Trump changed that, suddenly the ugly side of the empire became visible, and i will always be grateful for that. because now it cannot be hidden anymore. it wasn't just the unruly behaviour of a "new rich" and uneducated bully who accidentally became president. politically, the general attitude was always the same, trump only worded it much more obvious, making it harder for politicians and media to spin. that's why our politicians and media (for the most part fed by trans-atlantic "think tanks") hated him almost more than Americans themselves - he made their lies obvious and transparent. if it wasn't so sad, it sometimes was almost funny to see them squirm, having to explain why our friend and protector suddenly became so selfish and hostile.
All of them welcomed of course the new Harris administration, being so progressive, just and friendly again - only to witness a change of paradigm they probably didn't even think trump was capable of, or willing to: i think in later years, this week will mark the "official" beginning of the new cold war era. this behaviour against Russia and china was not a slap, but a punch in the face and will NEVER be forgiven nor forgotten. the only question for europe is: does it finally have the balls to emancipate and stand up against the bully? or will it submit and become a collateral damage of it's downfall? in form of a nuclear wasteland maybe?
I think that Nord stream II is a turning point. If Germany caves in here, there's little hope to get rid of the leash for it and the whole of Europe.
If it stands tall, europe might become a buffer instead of a frontline. knowing and seeing our politicians, i'd say it doesn't look good.
Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 0:33 utc | 45
- 17 March Russia withdraws it's US Ambassador for consultations:"Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has been summoned to Moscow for consultations in order to analyse what needs to be done in the context of relations with the United States.
The new US administration took office about two months ago and the symbolic 100-day mark is not too far away, which is a good occasion for trying to appraise what Joe Biden's team has managed to do and where it was not very successful.
The most important thing for us is to identify ways of rectifying Russia-US relations, which have been going through hard times as Washington has, as a matter of fact, brought them to a blind alley.
We are interested in preventing an irreversible deterioration in relations, if the Americans become aware of the risks associated with this."
- Pres. Putin invite Pres. Biden for a live on-line public discussion of issues:"I want to invite President Biden to continue our discussion, but on the condition that we do this actually live, as they say, online. Without any delay, but directly in an open, direct discussion. It seems to me that it would be interesting for the people of Russia, for the people of the United States, and for many other countries", Putin said on air on the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
- The talk to be tomorrow (Friday). If not, then Monday, as he is spending free time in the Taiga (oblique reference to North Korea going up the sacred mountain to re-majorly rethink policy). This also places a live face to face in Prime media time, avoiding the dead news weekend.
- Biden is an intelligent man, but can't appear on an unedited live TV show with Putin - not because of his age-related related memory recall difficulty - this is normal - but because it risks exposing the cartoon-like tropes, lies, racism, & duplicity of the US Govt. approach.
Especially when compared and contrasted with the serious and adult approach of the Russian President. Nearly 100 days in, USA Govt. has been given the chance, and it is clear USA Govt aggression and attempts to interfere in Russian domestic policy will continue. Should Russia abandon soft diplomacy and strategic patience with USA?
- Perhaps it is all theatre, coordinated by the Presidential envoys.
Perhaps a 'crisis' is created, Ukraine creates a threat to Europe, climate must be cooperatively addressed, the Middle East could explode at any moment, a new peace treaty in the Gulf required, blah blah, blah.
A live face to face airs the issues from both sides publicly, done respectfully, sensibly, no political point scoring or spittle-mouthed fabrications from the US Govt side.
The Press filter is sidestepped - a Trump tactic. It would be intended as a circuit breaker, and the start of a new course for USA Govt. Russia is ready, has been for years, and repeated it over and over.
If the USA Govt fails to step up it will hardly be the end of the world. But it will show what a lot of short-sighted, self-interested, careerist, and functionally useless time-servers most of the US political class are.
They will identify themselves as impediments to the health and welfare of the American people.
Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.orgworldblee , Mar 18 2021 20:00 utc | 14
For those who have been waiting for Putin's response to Biden's "killer" slur, we now have it:
https://www.rt.com/russia/518521-putin-biden-live-debate/The president named the fight against the pandemic, regional conflict resolution, and strategic stability issues as possible topics, noting that he would be ready to talk to Biden on Friday or Monday in an "open" chat.
"I would like to suggest to President Biden that we continue our discussion, but on the condition that we actually do it live, without any delays, directly in an open, live discussion," Putin told the Russia 24 TV channel on Thursday. "I think it would be interesting for the people of Russia and the people of the United States and many other countries," he added.
It would be so delicious to actually witness such a debate. By asking for it to be streamed live, Putin is subtly calling out Biden's lie that he "told Putin he had no soul" (whereas it's unlikely that Biden actually had a 1:1 meeting with Putin during the Obama administration) as well as making Biden look weaker when Crash Test Dummy doesn't respond to the invite.
oldhippie , Mar 18 2021 21:23 utc | 27karlof1 , Mar 18 2021 21:25 utc | 28
Biden"s time is limited. Cannot be trusted near a microphone, no matter how well prepared or how thoroughly edted. Has trouble walking, begins to have trouble standing up.
Kamala is still very much a problem. First, no one likes her. Not the public, not her peers. The public is not prepared for her accession. Her competence is possibly even lower than Biden's. She may be better able to read a TelePrompter, she still annoys everyone when she speaks. May turn out to have some aptitude for riding herd on the advisors, we shall see. She may be able to function as some sort of ringmaster but will contribute nothing, she knows nothing.
It shall be government by advisors and functionaries and hidden hands. The advisors and functionaries are all steeped in hegemony and exceptionalism. They have no idea of anything else. Anyone who ever had a thought in their head was weeded out of academia and out of public life a long time ago. That leaves the hidden hands. We will never know much about that. It does appear they are perhaps ready to close down the American project and move on.Australian lady , Mar 18 2021 23:02 utc | 38
If those within the US government were so stupid as to swallow Russiagate's bullshit thus resulting in a "deep hatred of Russia," why would Russia want to deal with such obtuse idiots incapable of logic or critical thinking?
IMO, the current goal of Russia/China/Iran is to completely ice-out the Outlaw US Empire from having any practical impact on global affairs. The new initiative to Re-ratify the UN Charter is a case in point for such a policy. The not agreement capable nation now has a figure head that can't be allowed to talk without minders, a fact Putin would like the entire world to observe. The world has no way to deny that it sees a nation talking like a Gangster and acting like a Gangster as its recent behavior's been very explicit and public. IMO, such behavior hasn't been observed since 1938, but there'll be no appeasement or betrayal of another nation this time. China's already invited Lavrov to Beijing once its diplomats return from Alaska. Yet the Empire lies to itself when it says it has more tools to deal with Russia. The reality is it has no more cards to play--not even its nukes.powerandpeople , Mar 19 2021 1:27 utc | 53
Absolutely no difference in foreign policy?
B, I think you're pandering to your audience.
I wonder what President Putin would think- or perhaps "feel" about teamBiden versus Trump?.
How would you like to be called a "killer, without a soul"? Not withstanding all the theatrical bellicosity of Pompeo, Putin at least understood that Trump admired him as a person. I contend this is a big difference.
Do you think the Dems want any comparison with the Trump administration? They are after contradistinction.
The Dems, the internationalists and the Blairites imagine themselves to be on a roll. Putin is in their crosshairs.
This time the belligerence is the real thing.
in a circuitous way, Pres. Putin calls Pres. Biden the real killer:
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/65172International Music Festival volunteer coordinator and representative of Crimea Federal University Polina Bolbochan: Mr President, I have a somewhat personal question for you. Yesterday, President Biden got quite tough in his interview, including with regard to you. What would you say to him?
Vladimir Putin: With regard to my US colleague's remark, we have, indeed, as he said, met in person. What would I tell him? I would say "stay healthy." I wish him good health. I am saying this without irony or tongue in cheek. This is my first point.
Secondly, taking a broader approach to this matter, I would like to say that difficult, dramatic, and bloody events abound in the history of every nation and every state.
But when we evaluate other people, or even other states and nations, we are always facing a mirror, we always see ourselves in the reflection, because we project our inner selves onto the other person.
You know, I remember when we were children and played in the yard, we had arguments occasionally and we used to say: whatever you call me is what you are called yourself. This is no coincidence or just a kids' saying or joke. It has a very deep psychological undercurrent.
We always see ourselves in another person and think that he or she is just like us, and evaluate the other person's actions based on our own outlook on life.
With regard to the US establishment, the ruling class – not the American people who are mostly honest, decent and sincere people who want to live in peace and friendship with us, something we are aware of and appreciate, and we will rely on them in the future – their mindset was formed in rather challenging circumstances which we are all aware of.
After all, the colonisation of the American continent by the Europeans went hand-in-hand with the extermination of the local people, the genocide, as they say today, outright genocide of the Indian tribes followed by a very tough, long and difficult period of slavery, a very cruel period.
All of that has been part of life in America throughout the history of the United States to this day. Otherwise, where would the Black Lives Matter movement come from? To this day, African Americans face injustice and even extermination.
The ruling class of the United States tends to address domestic and foreign policy issues based on these assumptions. After all, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons, mind you, against a non-nuclear state – Japan, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW II. There was absolutely no military need for the bombing. It was nothing but the extermination of civilians.
I am bringing this up, because I know that the United States and its leaders are determined to maintain certain relations with us, but on matters that are of interest to the United States and on its terms.
Even though they believe we are just like them, we are different. We have a different genetic, cultural and moral code .
But we know how to uphold our interests. We will work with the United States, but in the areas that we are interested in and on terms that we believe are beneficial to us.
They will have to reckon with it despite their attempts to stop our development, despite the sanctions and insults.
They will have to reckon with this.
My bolds, to bring out the essence.
Essentially, he is saying 'We reject your posturing and rudeness, do what you want. We are ready, and will go our own way. You are not worthy of our cooperation. It' over'.
So, the ball, once again, is in the USA Govt court.
Mar 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Piotr Berman , Mar 18 2021 19:06 utc | 5
Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany's energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden's victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him . <-- b
However "hostile", Germany contributed to uni-lateral Trumpian sanctions, and so far, North Stream 2 is the only beacon of independence. Take Ukraine: Germany and France form half of Normandy Four, and provided name for Steinmeier formula. Ukraine resolutely resists proceeding with any obligations under that formula. Germany is silent on that and support annual extensions of sanctions, not to mention sanctions on Syria, Venezuela and whatever EU sanctions.
Syria is an interesting example. It could be actually popular among German voters to facilitate reconstruction in that country and return of the refugees to their homeland. Iran and Russia are potentially good customers for German industry. Independence of German banks and other companies from whimsical sanctions from USA would help too.
Seemingly, ingrained masochism is hard to overcome.
karlof1 , Mar 18 2021 19:22 utc | 8psychohistorian , Mar 18 2021 19:38 utc | 9
Thanks for posting Pepe's comments, some of which are in his current article I linked to on the open thread. In my comment related to Pepe's article I noted his excerpt of Chinese academic Jisi and this specific part:
"the Americans are eager to deal with problems before they are ready to improve the relationship."
That observation is consistent with that of an entity that only wants its orders obeyed and seeks no relationship or friendship with any other entity since it sees itself as Top Dog, and #1 in every way. As with the Nord Stream project, we see the Gangster mentality--Do as I say or else!
Not only does the Emperor have no clothes or much of a working memory, he's got erectile disfunction too that's well beyond the ability of Viagra to fix.Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 18 2021 19:50 utc | 11
So here we have Blinken, Winken and Nod providing direction for failing empire
Blinken is obvious
Winken is that behind the scenes, wink, wink, nod, nod (there ain't no class structure here) type VP and
Nod is the new normal as US President.
I am sure they will try to take America to new places, yet to be dreamt of....will the brainwashed of the West follow?
About Germany and Nord Stream II.....To a degree that I am not sure of, Germany is like Japan, a fully owned colony of empire....this may be the time that the Germany nut gets cracked wide open....interesting times indeed.
Where are the details of Blinken telling China how to behave? I can hardly wait for the next act of Blinken, Winken and NodChris Cosmos , Mar 18 2021 21:43 utc | 29
"Why, after so many bad words towards it, would China help the U.S. with solving the North Korea problem? It has zero incentive to do so."
This (as well as the Germany/NS2 thing) sounds like a rather naive view. Western headlines are for western internal consumption. And what's happening behind the scene, what incentives are offered and what threats are made in exchange for what specific actions, we simply don't know.mastameta , Mar 18 2021 20:22 utc | 18
I notice a lot of accusations that Washington is "stupid" but that's not true. You have to understand how Washington works before you make such statements. The Deep State knows that it can control the minds of most Americans by inventing "truths" without any need to prove anything.
Since Washington is now in conflict with a goodly part of the public it sees that creating foreign policy crises and enemies as an excellent course of action to shore up support. Americans are always ready to react against enemies no matter how slender the proof of the wrongdoing ascribed to the enemy. There is never a penalty to pay for lying in the US if you are in the mainstream media or in the political arena. Since the CIA controls much of the European media and their ruling class it would take quite a lot for Europeans to drop their status as vassal states.
Remember, Washington can throw endless amounts of money around and fund everything from terrorism, crime waves, sexual indiscretions a la Epstein (the CIA had it's own whorehouse which my father pointed out to me decades ago--it was in Roslyn Virginia and it used underage girls and boys to improve its soft-power).
So far, no one has paid a penalty for lying or corrupt practices in Washington if they were "made" men or women (Trump never got that far).
As long as Europe, Japan and some other countries continue to be vassal states the US can and will get away with anything. Nordstream 2 is the issue that may change all that. Once Germany rebels the rest may follow.Bernard F. , Mar 18 2021 22:41 utc | 36
germany breaking rank will be first big turn in nato. nordstream is a non negotiable issue for germany. meanwhile the US is not agreement capable. on anything and the vaccine hoarding is a big F U in EU to so called allies. all the pieces are set. just need time to let it all play out. the global south woke to it before the slower europeans can see the world anew.
as for the US china alaska meeting, it does seem to me that the US administration and deep state or whatever you want to call it are not coordinated or fully aligned with each other. the timing of the US sanctions on hk officials seem designed to thwart any possible dialogue. as if some elements are working to ensure the meeting resolves nothing.
the china global times calls this move the US stick that comes down before any negotiation and says it's a continuation of trump era tactics. maybe. I see it more as designed to make the meeting fail instead of designed to achieve anything such as extracting concessions from china. not being agreement capable because it is sabotaged from within.
but at this pt in the crumbling empire it is perhaps foolish to analyze its tactics in terms of means and ends. its only 'rationale' at this pt is to just keep doing what it's doing. sanctions wars threats coercion and moral grandstanding. it only knows it is right and there is nothing else besides.
About Vlora to be an Alternative to NS2. Just a Fake from Radio France International, paid for by french gov. France is now full play in US hand. Macron want NS2 [and soon NS1..] to be shut down.
Nord Stream 1 is 55 Md.M3/y
Nord Stream 2 too.
The biggest ship to deliver US GNL in Europe is 260.000 m3. 1m3 GNL is 600m3 natural gaz.
It's me or my computer? 3 ship per day? How many ship necessary? 60? 80?
Not an economy, a nightmare.
American capitalism was plunder and is now parasitism.
In order to get energy, Germany need Russia. Nord Stream is a direct tie in order to avoid "reliable" intermediate like Ukraine or Poland.
In order to get everything under control US need [reliable intermediate] to cut the tie between [oil/gas fields] from Middleeast or Russia and Germany, the sole country in Europe with Great industrial/technical capacity.
And good economic links to Eurasien.
Pardon my Englisch, I'm french. And tired
Mar 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume
Several Russia watchers - Patrick Armstrong , Andrei Martyanov and Andrei Raevsky - are musing about a renewed attack by the government of Ukraine on its eastern Donbass region. The Donbass separated in 2014 after the U.S. driven coup in Kiev installed an anti-Russian government which then waged a war on its ethnic Russian east.
There have been a number of reports about heavy Ukrainian equipment moving east and other hints of military preparations . Russia has seen enough such signs to issue a strong warning :"I would like to warn the Kiev regime and the hotheads that are serving it or manipulating it against further de-escalation and attempts to implement a forceful scenario in Donbass," [Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova] said, commenting on the statement of head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for settlement in Donbass Leonid Kravchuk on some "radical steps" of Kiev if Russia refuses to recognize itself as a conflict side in eastern Ukraine.
Zakharova recalled that the Minsk Agreements clearly outline the conflict sides in Donbass as Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. "The unwillingness of Ukrainian negotiators to recognize this fact and their refusal to find agreements with Donbass is the reason that hinders the establishment of long-lasting peace in the region," the diplomat noted.
The main catalyst for such a war is the sorry state of the government in Kiev. The country is in in the midst of a constitutional crisis :[T]he Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) recently plunged the country into one of its deepest crises in its 30-year history. Specifically, on October 27, 2020, the Court declared that the main elements of Ukraine's anti-corruption legislation, adopted between 2014 and 2020, were unconstitutional. In response, President Zelensky introduced legislation calling for the early termination of all Constitutional Court judges. Later, in December, he suspended the chairman of the Court for two months.
The result was widespread chaos in Ukraine's political system. Zelensky's actions were of questionable legality and provoked harsh criticism from all political sides. The ramifications of the Court's decision include the cancellation of over 100 pending corruption investigations, a development that potentially could endanger future EU-Ukraine trade and economic cooperation Ukraine under the 2014 Association Agreement.
After the 2014 Euromaidan coup an 'independent' National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was created to oversee the investigation and prosecution of corrupt state officials. The NABU has since been used by the U.S. embassy to bring criminal cases against those oligarchs it dislikes and to cover for those it likes. The constitutional court found that NABU is a criminal investigation agency outside the control of the executive branch which is a contradiction to the Ukrainian constitution.
The crisis has since escalated:President Zelensky has now taken several provocative steps, including proposing legislation that voids the Constitutional Court's anti-corruption rulings and begins the process of dismissing and replacing those justices who supported that decision. None of these actions are supported under present-day Ukrainian law. The rhetoric between the president and the Constitutional Court is also escalating, with Constitutional Court Chairman Tupitskyi warning that the president's actions threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Calls for impeachment proceedings are being raised in the Rada, and Zelensky yet again escalated the crisis on February 3, 2021 by blocking pro-Russian TV channels controlled by Victor Medvedchuk. The legality of the latter action was even questioned by the EU, who told Zelensky that while Ukraine possessed the right to protect itself from disinformation, it still had to comply with international standards and "fundamental rights and freedoms."
The pressure on Zelensky is growing as he tries to navigate the fine line of obeying the law as written while simultaneously claiming that the very integrity of the country is at stake. And Zelensky's problems are only mounting, with the Cabinet of Ministers recently calling for the dismissal of the head of NABU and the IMF delaying the next tranche of financial support, in part because of Ukraine's failure to implement a comprehensive anti-corruption program.
Polling numbers for Zelensky have sharply declined . Right wing city councils call on Zelensky to outlaw the largest opposition party . Meanwhile the pandemic puts a record number of people into hospitals while a meager vaccination campaign is failing .
A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support.
But nothing will happen on the frontline without the consent or even encouragement from Washington DC. The Biden administration is filled with the same delusional people who managed the 2014 coup in Kiev. They may believe that the NATO training the Ukrainian army received and the weapons the U.S. delivered are sufficient to defeat the separatist. But the state of the Ukrainian military is worse than one might think and the separatist will have Russia's full backing. There is no question who would win in such a fight.
As a commentator at Turcopolier remarked :If the US is not careful it is going to give the Russians another opportunity to show to the World their military prowess, the flexibility of their Military District system allowing multi front operation and their unfailing support for an ally. As well as potentially letting the Russians show to Europe that they have nothing to fear, if they stop at 30 miles or so and basically go back home. All whilst the US demonstrates the opposite, but then reinforcing DC may trump the World.
Posted by b on March 13, 2021 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink
Mar man , Mar 13 2021 17:49 utc | 1If Ukraine is not careful, they could easily lose all their territory up to the Dnieper River. With Russian support the separatists could launch offensives and gain massive territory west. If pro-Russian separatists managed to capture that much territory, that would solve alot of problems for Russia.Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 17:57 utc | 2
1. A land bridge to Crimea.
2. No more water/power distribution problems to Crimea.
3. Less chances for the ongoing sabotage efforts against Crimea from the northern border.
4. Permanent exclusion of Ukraine from NATO unless Ukraine simply gives up and recognizes all the lost as sovereign independent republics. A win/win for Russia."A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support." It would be an odd way to 'regain national support', as he was elected on precisely the opposite platform, the peace platform.Bluedotterel , Mar 13 2021 18:07 utc | 3
Meh. Whatever the calculations - to suppress pro-peace opponents and compete against the pro-war parties for their electorate? - it seems unlikely to succeed. A case of totally fucked up attempt at populism, methinks.The Saker also has an interesting article on this: https://thesaker.is/is-the-ukraine-on-the-brink-of-war-again/William Gruff , Mar 13 2021 18:12 utc | 6
"Just a few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled "The Ukraine's Many Ticking Time Bombs" in which I listed a number of developments presenting a major threat to the Ukraine and, in fact, to all the countries of the region. In this short time the situation has deteriorated rather dramatically. I will therefore begin with a short recap of what is happening.
First, the Ukrainian government and parliament have, for all practical purposes, declared the Minsk Agreements as dead. Truth be told, these agreements were stillborn, but as long as everybody pretended that there was still a chance for some kind of negotiated solution, they served as a "war retardant". Now that this retardant has been removed, the situation becomes far more explosive than before.
Second, it is pretty obvious that the "Biden" administration is a who's who of all the worst russophobes of the Obama era: Nuland, Psaki, and the rest of them are openly saying that they want to increase the confrontation with Russia. Even the newcomers, say like Ned Price, are clearly rabid russophobes. The folks in Kiev immediately understood that their bad old masters were back in the White House and they are now also adapting their language to this new (well, not really) reality.
Finally, and most ominously, there are clear signs that the Ukrainian military is moving heavy forces towards the line of contact. Here is an example of a video taken in the city of Mariupol:
Besides tanks, there are many reports of other heavy military equipment, including MLRS and tactical ballistic missiles, being moved east towards the line of contact. Needless to say, the Russian General Staff is tracking all these movements very carefully, as are the intelligence services of the LDNR.""Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume" ?Mao Cheng Ji , Mar 13 2021 18:16 utc | 7
Because the establishment was successful at installing one of their own into the White House. In fact, the empire's need to secure total victory in Ukraine was part and parcel of why Biden had to "win" regardless of how blatant the scamming of the election ended up being.
Not only will the wars in Ukraine and Syria heat up to a boil again, but we will begin to see terrorist attacks in western China start up once more after several year hiatus. We all knew that this is what would come of a Biden win."Otherwise, good article on the dangerous build up that is motivated in the US."oldhippie , Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 11
Incidentally, I hear that Ukrainian officials are getting their orders from the UK embassy these days; the US has distanced itself.
Whether this is happening because it's still the transitional period, or this is a deliberate new M.O., god only knows.Ukraine still has a flotilla of functioning nuclear power plants. The Zaporozhye complex is the largest in Europe by far. Anything goes wrong and Chernobyl comes back, in spades. So what if we have a little war and Russia stops at Donbass, the rump of Ukraine is in chaos?John Gilberts , Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 12
An atomic bomb requires 3 kilos of fissile material. A reactor will have tons. Hundreds of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel. There is a lot to be said for stability. Lots of trouble with high stakes poker.Oldhippie , Mar 13 2021 18:51 utc | 15
Canada's Banderite lobby prepares... https://twitter.com/HMcPhersonMP/status/1370417322687565826#14ptb , Mar 13 2021 19:03 utc | 16
Right. What could possibly go wrong?
When history repeats itself there are never any annoying transcription errors.Ukraine's relations with China might be about to deteriorate as well... Ukraine Plans To Nationalize Jet Engine Producer Motor Sich From Chinese InvestorsFyi , Mar 13 2021 19:21 utc | 17Mr. Mar manHoarsewhisperer , Mar 13 2021 19:30 utc | 18
I agree, and further to your points, I suspect Russians are engaged in a long term project of re-absorbing Ukraine minus the Catholic oblasts. The tactic is intermittent episodes of limited war, in response to a Ukrainian provocation, real or manufactured, or imagined - followed by the loss of more territory by Ukraine.The most interesting thing about this story is ... Myanmar.James2 , Mar 13 2021 19:43 utc | 19
Since the coup in that country began the Fake News (most MSM news) has given Myanmar saturation coverage. EVERY "news" broadcast in Oz AND the so-called International News has led with some tosh about Myanmar. It's an effing rowdy riot for Christ's sake. Guess how surprised I wouldn't be to hear that MI6 & CIA are behind Myanmar? It's a Boring, same every day, story and it's going nowhere.
Imo, Myanmar was always cover for prep for something more nefarious elsewhere. And anything with shooting involved would be MORE nefarious than Myanmar. Now the real stories are seeping out.
I hope they start with Ukraine. Putin is an asshole. But he's my kind of asshole and certain people, who don't listen, are going to wish they hadn't been born. And when VVP has finished with Ukraine, some of them may as well not have been born.What ever I read I never hear the views of the people of Ukraine - the country is at risk of being broken up by the actions of all governments since independence. I bet the Hungarians and Poland are watching closely as they also have interests in Ukraine.steven t johnson , Mar 13 2021 19:59 utc |